Opinion: Love in a World of Woe


Bev Floyd

Why call it a ‘World of woe’?

Well, for as far back as history goes, we see wars and destruction, cruelty, poverty and inequality. Closer to our times we’ve seen pogroms against Jewish people as well as the Holocaust. The Rwandan genocide. Crimes against humanity in Kosovo. The Myanmar conflict with the Rohingya… and that’s just a quick pick.

What is it about humanity that creates such atrocities?  We could surmise that increased consciousness and increased knowledge would have brought peacefulness… but it hasn’t.

What are we missing?  Is it Love?

There’s always been love. The love of a parent for a child… a friend for a friend… love between marriage partners. That love hasn’t always been extended to other tribes, other countries, or to people or groups who are different.

The human psyche is still a work in progress. Evolution brought Homo Sapiens to the point of consciousness and now the journey is no longer mainly anatomical, it has become cultural…  a matter of education and the freeing of our psyche from ancient ways of thinking.

Human beings are slowly sorting through conscious and unconscious elements to reorganize thinking in a better and more consistent way.


It’s getting more attention. It is no longer just for parent and child or people close to us. It is now  understood to be a better way to deal with all kinds of things… recalcitrant children, those who are different or are irritable because they have been hurt. Enemies.

An important moment in human history marks the time when the idea of LOVE was put high on the agenda. It was the message of an obscure young Jewish carpenter. He paid for what he said with his life… but what an impact it has had on the world. It’s not as if love hadn’t existed before, because it did, but its fortunes began to flourish since a man in Judea saw how important it was.

We know the rest. It’s a slow, slow process, but it seems to me that learning to love is the next way-stop on our human journey.

A Franciscan friar, Richard Rohr has put it well. Talking about non-violence he says:

‘Non-violence is the quality that comes out of all the world religions. The notion that the creative force of the universe is love… that ‘God’ is love and that love is all encompassing.

Gandhi insisted— and I think this is Gandhi’s great contribution— that the creative force of the universe is the force that we humans must learn to exercise because that force is the only force that can cause the human race to do ‘God’s’ will.’

It seems likely that more of us will learn how to love.


 Sexual attraction
Family love
Sacred love

We use the word ‘love’ so readily, so carelessly, but what does it mean?

Sexual attraction is the most natural of the three. It’s a significant instinct for human beings to find a sexual partner and reproduce. And in same -sex relationships, there is also a desire for children… to create a family.

Sexual attraction is a very individual matter. We are sexually attracted to another person for many different reasons. It may be because of their appearance, their voice, their personality or even their smell… but it is quite subjective and depends on a person’s interest, perception and sexual orientation.

Family love begins when an infant is born. There’s a wonderful chemical cocktail of maternal love that a mother has when she gives birth. It’s nature’s way of ensuring babies are nurtured, loved, cared for when they can do nothing for themselves.

And that initial chemical boost can start a cycle of love, not only for the mother and the baby and the father… it can spread to the wider family and even the community.

The glow of family love is catching. We learn how to love. To nurture one another.   To help when our family or friends need help… to help even when we are annoyed or irritated, simply because these are OUR people. We are bound to them by the ties of family.

Sacred love is love that translates across and out of just the bonds of friends and family, tribes and nationalities. Sacred love is love for the world in all its variety…
the environment, the creatures, the people. Love for the unlovely, love even for those who may wish to harm us. LOVE that perseveres when human love might fail.

LOVE that is characterised by empathy, compassion, and support for others.

Love like this isn’t the result of physical attraction or body chemistry or family. It only develops over time as individuals learn to put their ego aside in order to care for others.

It is human beings in tune with the creative force of the universe… and we can call that ‘love’ or ‘goodness’ or ‘Godliness’… whichever we prefer.

The next time we are about to say, ‘I love you.’ perhaps we should pause a moment to make sure we mean the right kind of love for the situation we are in and the person we’re with.

Baby bird fell out of the nest. Mother bird caught it. Father bird held it up.






















Baby bird fell out of the nest. Mother bird caught it. Father bird held it

2 thoughts on “Opinion: Love in a World of Woe

  1. Brian O'Hanlon

    God is fundamental, God is Love. When our mind is quiet and naturally happy I am in a state of love, (I Am). My Spirit is Love and is with God as Love. That is why we are here to Spiritually grow into Love. Love is other orientated- helping others, Love is kind etc. Jesus was the role model. When God is fundamental there is only Love all other emotions are a human (not Spiritual) distortion of Love. Using our free will we can be Love or in some other state.

  2. Bev Floyd

    One person’s journey through
    life will take them in a different direction to another’s.
    They will experience the mystery differently. What is required is for each to report what they have discovered as clearly as they can. Then the rest of us will be helped on our own journeys. Thanku Brian.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *