How we suffer!
Last time we precociously dreamed up a religion of love. Well, founded on love, anyway. Or is love the deity? Doesn't matter. It really doesn't. That's the cool thing. We can easily and openly substitute what our souls tell us is God and the nomenclature doesn't change the message at all. In fact, I think it proves the whole point. Direct your prayers and your faith toward the entity you believe best suited to receive them, but come with a spirit of love and we're drinking the same wine.
Fear, not hate, is the opposite of love. When we come to the times of fear, the uncertainty, I feel like doubling down on what you love, not what you fear, might just be the way to go. "Why must I suffer?" I may cry. "I just want to spread love!" Maybe it's because I want to spread love that I must suffer.
Empathy comes from suffering, like wisdom comes from failure. The only possibility of a world without error and failure is one without freedom. We souls must be free to Get It Wrong. Free and inexperienced souls cannot possibly at first be wise. That wisdom comes only from the times you don't make it, you don't get it right, you fail. If the "answer" is always known, and how best to attain it from the start, there is no free will, only conscious correct action or conscious incorrect action.
So maybe it is that we have to suffer for what we want in precisely the way we most fear. I'm starting to think it's the only way to gain the necessary wisdom to share what is truly an intangible and gargantuan concept: love. If love is to be shared, it can't be cheapened and it can't be diluted. One can only truly empathize with suffering one can conceptualize.
To know courage, we must know hardship and grapple with disappointment. A spirit of altruism comes from experiencing situations of social inequality. Hope is fostered only in situations with insecurities with uncertainty. Faith comes to us in the wee small hours of the morning when we can quietly admit to ourselves that we're in a place where we know less than we can believe. To know loyalty, we must first put our faith in others amidst the possibility of betrayal and desertion.
At the other end of the spectrum of each of those noble qualities is fear. We look for courage, asking if we're strong enough. Altruism asks if we will care for each other in our times of need. Hope begs for trust. Faith opposes despair.
And love conquers all.