“If you say you love everyone that means you don’t love anyone.”
I’ll never forget that day, walking around under a hot Russian sun trying to talk to people about religion but much more interested in the ongoing conversation between doors. She said what I’d been trying to say for a long time. Rewards unearned have no meaning, give no satisfaction and damn and incapacitate. If you give a dog a bone for bad behavior he will not improve.
I love my brothers dog, when he’s sleeping. Awake I’m constantly trying NOT to kill him. I don’t love him because he’s obedient, mild tempered and smart. He’s freaking crazy. After a week I’m covered in scrapes and bruises. Thor exploits my short fuse…all pretenses and good behavior are out the window. He has his moments though. For instance, he’s curled up beside me on the couch…peaceful, too cute to be true. He’s still just a baby, and hasn’t been trained by an expert. I know deep down that Thor just doesn’t understand me when I tell him, “Chill out!” or “OH MY GOSH I can’t stand you anymore stop biting me!
Because I know he doesn’t understand I can be patient and love him even when he jumped on me and got mud all over my white coat.
Sometimes people do the equivalent of getting dirt all over my clean laundry. They say things I know are shallow or insincere, they cut me off on 4th North, they chew with their mouth open…But I know they are just like Thor, everyone has a reason for being the way they are and doing the things they do. We’d all be blamable if we had perfect circumstances. But there are no perfect childhoods. When you blame people and resent them for their littleness and shortcomings, they will only defend themselves. And rightly so, because they have their reasons. We all deserve to be understood, and validated, we owe it to the people we know to understand them and give them the benefit of the doubt. Patience and understanding is love; the type of love that redeems us from what we’d end up being without it.
All the same, there is a second type of love. I’m a skeptic and I desperately want to be proven wrong, I’m a believer and I don’t need proof. The love that’s a reward given to the worthy. A love held in reserve for thought out goodness and seasoned character. Think Lassie. Thor wouldn’t know a fire if you threw him it (Bless his soul). There is a reason they made a tv show about Lassie and not Thor. The second type of love we give to people because they are what we want to be or who we think we are. Suddenly you’re Ok because there is someone else who is like you and accepts you. A glorified stamp of approval
We want the A+, the Gold Stars, the tiara, the applause. But it’s like giving trophies out for participation, it loses it’s meaning if you get it for nothing. If you cheat you can never EVER win. Even if you do.
If I give Thor bacon bites when he deserves to be put in the cage he will never learn and I am not doing right by him. If I have enough love for him to be patient and understanding I might see him through to when he deserves the reward. Thats what God does with us isn’t it?
I think I lost track of what I was trying to say.