Learning to Love

Universities don’t teach the one concept most important in our world and in our personal lives.

That concept is love.

Our world would be transformed for the better if each of us, including me, learned to live lives of love.

For two weeks, UF’s most iconic symbol, Century Tower, has been awash in love.  Century Tower is lit with rainbow colors as a symbol of love, compassion and unity with the LGBT and LatinX communities following the heinous slaughter at Orlando’s Pulse nightclub.  Tonight at 8:30 p.m., we will hold a commemoration and unity ceremony at Century Tower.

In contrast to the hate displayed in the killing of 49 people on the morning of June 12, almost all cultures and religions have love for others as a guiding principle.  Philosophers call it the Law of Reciprocity or more commonly, the Golden Rule, i.e., we should treat others as we would like others to treat us.    

However, my hope for the UF community and for myself is that our love will be more than simply the Golden Rule. My prayer is that even though there are no majors or required classes on the subject, we will learn to love unconditionally, to love the undeserving and the unlovable, and to love even when it is not in our personal best interest.

The image of the rainbow colors shining on our beloved Century Tower is an unforgettable symbol of the beauty of love.  I know my personal life and our globe will be better when I leave no room in my heart for hate – but rather fill it with active love for all others, particularly those who think and look different from me.