“I have found that when you love life, life will love you back.” (Arthur Rubenstein)
In other words, your life is yours to shape. You are its driver. Life does not owe you anything. There’s nothing whatsoever that you’re entitled to expect.
It’s what you make of it.
Life doesn’t happen to you. You happen to it. Your “happenings” are the result of your “doings”. Actions have consequences. Most people know that, although they might try to evade it. What most people don’t understand is how INACTION has consequences too.
You cannot escape decisions. To refuse to act — or to refuse to think — is itself a decision. The fact that you simply back away from thinking and acting doesn’t immunize you from pain. In fact, it increases pain because it’s in your nature to require thought, action, experimentation and then verification of your actions as life-affirming or life-harming. Honest errors are almost always survivable. And when you encounter error, you can make a course correction with new experiments.
We’re taught from day one — if we’re taught at all — to love others. ALL others. Unconditionally. Regardless of their character, their own choices, their values or what they do or do not mean to us. That’s insanity.
What we’re rarely, if ever, taught is how to love life. Instead of “love your neighbor as yourself”, the primary principle of life should be: Love life FOR yourself. The love of your neighbors — the right ones, at least — will follow.
If you don’t love life, you won’t treat it with the respect, courtesy and importance it deserves. You will not treat others with courtesy or respect either, not if you don’t love your own life.
It’s YOUR life that you must love most of all, and first. Everything and everyone else is secondary.
The people who grasp this will generally live rewarding and meaningful lives.
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