Give love this Yuletide season

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Friday, December 20, 2013


NOT too many know that the song, “Give Love on Christmas Day,” recorded by Motown Records’ family quintet The Jackson 5, was first released as a single in the Philippines. In 1986, the gained release as a CD single in the United States, in order to promote the release of the first CD version of “The Jackson 5 Christmas Album.”

The first stanza goes this way: “People making lists, buying special gifts, / Taking time to be kind to one and all / It’s the time of year when good friends are here / And you wish you could give more / Than just presents from a store.”

But the second stanza is what I like most: “Why don’t you give love on Christmas day / Oh even the man who has everything / Would be so happy if you would bring / Him love on Christmas day / No greater gift is there than love.”

Generally, we write something about love only on Valentine’s Day. It’s the time of the year when you see hanging hearts in department stores. Elementary school children are given the chance of expressing their love to their parents by making a card, which they would then give to their father and/or mother.

But Christmas season is actually a time of loving too. In fact, it was because of love that the Almighty gave His only Son in order for man to be saved. John 3:16 states so: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (New International Version).

Like death and taxes, no one can escape from love. Here’s what Ernest Holmes said: “Love is within us. It cannot be destroyed. It can be ignored. To the extent that we abandon love we will feel it has abandoned us. Denying love is our only problem, and embracing it is the only answer. Through the power of love, we can let go of past history and begin again. Love heals, forgives, and makes whole.”

When it comes to love, author Emmet Fox’s idea is unrivaled: “There is no difficulty that enough love will not conquer; no disease that enough love will not heal; no door that enough love will not open; no gulf that enough love will not bridge; no wall that enough love will not throw down; no sin that enough love will not redeem. It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the trouble; how hopeless the outlook; how muddled the tangle; how great the mistake. A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all. If only you could love enough you would be the happiest and most powerful being in the world.”

So many people have talk about this subject but my favorite description of it is from the movie adaptation of the 1993 novel written by Louis de Bernières, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin.’ Listen: “Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness. It is not excitement. It is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being ‘in love’ which any of us can convince ourselves we are.

“Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.”

A lot of singers get their inspiration from love. “If the sun should refuse to rise and the moon doesn’t hang in the night. The tides won’t change, seasons rearrange. When the world is through, I will still love you.” That from the song ‘Still’ sang by 98 Degrees. John Lennon composed, “Love is the flower you’ve got to let grow.” And here’s what the Beatles wrote: “And in the end, the love we take will be equal to the love we make.”

Love can do many mysterious things. As a matter of fact, it can cure. Neil Eskelin shares this story: Early in the 20th century, two young medical school graduates and their father started a small sanitarium for mental patients on a farm outside Topeka, Kansas. This was a time with the ‘rest cure’ was in vogue in psychiatry, and patients were sent to impersonal institutions to life out their days.

The father and his sons had a different idea. They were determined to create a loving, family atmosphere among their patients and staff. The nurses were given special training and were told, “Let each person know how much you value them. Shower these people with love.”

The doctors were Karl and William Menninger, and the Menninger Clinic, with such ‘revolutionary’ methods, became world famous and has helped countless numbers of people.

“Love cures people - both the ones who give it and the ones who receive it,” Karl Menninger was quoted as saying. “This intangible thing love...enters into every therapeutic relationship. It is an element which finds and heals, which comforts and restores, which works what we have to call for now, miracles.”

Love is not always giving others what they want; love is doing for others what is best for them. This reminds me of the story told by author Zig Ziglar about his friend. Bernie Lofchick, who’s from Winnipeg, Canada, has a son named David who was born with cerebral palsy (a nerve disorder caused by a permanent brain defect of an injury at birth or soon after) and initially had a very difficult time.

“When David was about eighteen months old, Bernie and his wife, Elaine, had to put braces on David's legs every night. The doctor instructed them to make the braces progressively tighter, which caused considerable pain. Many times David pleaded, “‘Do we have to put them on tonight?’ or ‘Do you have to make them so tight?’

But the couple loved their son so much; they were able to say no to the tears of the moment so they could say yes to the laughter of a lifetime. “Today, David is an active, healthy, successful businessman with a wife and three beautiful children,” Ziglar reports. “David’s success story is the result of a love so deep that his parents were willing to do for David what was best for him – and not what David wanted at the moment.”

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on December 21, 2013.

Lifestyle

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