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“Loving can cost a lot, but not loving costs more. Those who fear to love often find that want of love is an emptiness that robs the joy from life.” – Merle Shain

The tragic bombings in Boston this week dampened an event intended to celebrate the best of human achievement. It weighs heavily on our hearts today and will forever affect those who were either injured or lost loved ones.

Terror has that impact.

It propels us toward fear. In fact, fear is both the motivator and the result of terrorism. In these tragic times, we could let ourselves be overwhelmed with fear.

But there’s an alternative view that I challenge you to strive for today.

While fear is an easy place to jump to and can be motivating, it is usually negative and has a short burn. So, my friend, today I challenge you to choose the eternal motivator: love.

Truly inspired leaders leverage love to inspire others into optimism, action and spreading joy. Love changes individual lives, unites families and transforms organizations. It’s important to remember this simple truth when choosing between living in fear or love: love wins.

At first, this may seem too simple for either the depth of this week’s tragedy or the challenges you face in your own life, but history suggests otherwise. There are innumerable examples of despair and brutality that are retaliated with the weapons of hope, a path forward paved with love and it’s impact clearly illustrated.

One example occurred in 1956 when Martin Luther King Jr.’s house was bombed. That day he had publicly started supporting a little unknown lady named Rosa Parks. Because of his beliefs, someone tried to destroy his house and silence his voice. Although he wasn’t at the house, his wife and young child were. King raced home, comforted them and then spoke to an angry mob of his supporters gathered in his front yard. These people wanted revenge on those who had instigated the bombing. King had to choose between fear and love. This is what he said:

“If you have weapons, take them home; if you do not have them, please do not seek to get them. We cannot solve this problem through retaliatory violence. We must meet violence with nonviolence. Remember the words of Jesus: ‘He who lives by the sword will perish by the sword’. We must love our white brothers, no matter what they do to us. We must make them know that we love them. He still cries out in words that echo across the centuries: ‘Love your enemies; bless them that curse you; pray for them that despitefully use you.’ This is what we must live by. We must meet hate with love. Remember, if I am stopped, this movement will not stop, because God is with the movement. Go home with this glowing faith and this radiant assurance.”

In the battle for racial equality: love wins.

In the battle to grow as individuals, or to repair broken relationships, or to communicate more effectively, or to forgive past wrongs, or to create vibrant corporate cultures, or to grow sales, or to create schools that excel, or to lead hospitals that heal, or to ignite the possibilities in others, or to overcome cowardly acts of terrorism: love wins.

Love has that impact.

My friend, in the midst of the fear over the Boston bombing and all of the challenges you face, remember: love wins. I encourage you to take this message with you into the weekend. Let your fear be overwhelmed and replaced with love; love that you find this weekend in the joyful sounds of your family, friends and the sights and sounds during this new season of spring. Carry this love with you and know that the best truly is yet to come.

When has “love” won in your life? Or, how do you think you can move forward more boldly with love as your guide? Please share your thoughts in the comments section.

0 replies on “Love Wins”

I love this quote from Dr. King, John, and his reference to the words of Jesus. Evil thrives on fear, isolation, revenge, and hate. It creates a cycle that destroys life – more lives than the bombs destroyed. Love is a choice, as is fear and hatred. It means letting go, which can be very difficult. We may not understand the actions of others, but if we have faith, we have hope that God will take care of all involved – including bringing justice as only he can since he has the big picture and we don’t.
Great insights as always, John. I enjoy reading your blog.

Yes, it is hard to confront fear and anger with love, but can you imagine how much harder it must have been to lay your life down to strangers, for love. Hard to swallow but easy to digest.

I have been reading your newsletters for years, John. This one, Love Wins, has been the one I can really relate to. Martin Luther King and having just seen the movie, 42, and other things going on on in my life. Just wanted to say thanks. I can move forward more boldly this weekend. Keep up the good work.

Elaine, thanks for your note and your loyalty! I am honored to get to join you (via your inbox!) each week. I am so glad my article met you where you are today – how was 42, by the way? Have a fantastic BOLD weekend.

So true John and thank you for the insight and the reminder of what love is and what it will do. I use to teach physical education and tried to educate on the love of the game/sport and not the score. It brings us to bulling which I tried to teach that if you loved them and not the actions or behavior you will win. Fast forward to this week and God had me painting for a wonderful retired person filled with love shadowed by a tragic event. God bless and you have a wonderful weekend with your family. Remember, we are brothers from a different mother. God is love! Steve

YOU are love, Steve! Thank you for sharing. I love your message of loving the game and forgetting the score! I hope you have a great weekend with your loved ones, too.

Our culture teaches young boys and men that love is soft, love is weak. We are taught from a young age that violence instills fear in our enemies and keeps them in check. I believe it takes more courage to stand in love than to retaliate against our enemies. That Jesus character was onto something…

Yes he was, my friend! Exciting to think what our world could be like if we all begin to shift from from fear to love. Thanks for the comment, Joe. The best is yet to come!!

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Live Inspired Together is a community of friends changing the world together, starting with their own. In a world that often focuses on negativity, John O’Leary - Live Inspired shares the other side of the story through his member-supported channels (essays, Live Inspired Podcast, video, webcasts, social platforms) to connect our community and share inspiration and actions to live it. Support now.