Upgrading to Love

I finally realized why our cultural focus on happiness bothers me. At first, I thought it was because I’m stuck in my own life and not happy, tainting my perspective. No doubt that is part of my challenge. But today, reading about Einstein’s letters to his daughter (about love being the most powerful force in the world), I had a new insight.

Nature love

To me, pursuing happiness is reflective of our cultural bias toward personal gain and an individualistic approach to life. We value our personal health, happiness, and freedom above all else. Corporations live for profit and growth. We’re growing and consuming the planet into disaster. As a species we live and express mostly from the masculine, mind, ego, self perspective.

I see many clues that pursuing happiness and personal gain are not the answer. Since the 1950s in the US, we have grown in personal wealth, house size, incomes, and personal development, yet, we are less satisfied overall. Around the world, the happiest people are often those with less material lives. Additionally, in the 2020 happiness ranking of countries, 6 of the top 10 are socialist countries with a strong focus on public good.

Socialism

I believe pursuing happiness puts our ladder on the wrong wall. It points us toward self centered behavior. Plus, happiness can be elusive when we pursue it. Here is a post called The Meaning of Happiness which explores how pursuing meaning and purpose are better than pursuing happiness. Research has shown that lasting contentment comes from a life of meaning rather than one of happiness.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting happiness or personal development are bad, but they might not be the best goals or ways to orient our lives. We need people, relationships, and love to survive and grow. Our self oriented lives have led us to a world in crisis; full of division, pandemic, hate, war, extreme wealth gaps, starvation, corporations ruling the world, acidifying oceans full of plastic, climate change, and mass species extinction. Isn’t this enough evidence that we need to orient our lives differently?

Family love

Love is inherently selfless and based on relationship. Fungi are the very foundation of life on earth and researchers suggest we would benefit from learning to live like fungi who build networks for sharing resources. They believe humans need to evolve to a more connected and collaborative way of living. We need to work together for the common good, creating new ways of living that transcend our personal needs and wants.

If we want our species to survive, if we are to find meaning in life, if we want to save the world and every sentient being that inhabits it, love is the one and only answer. ~ Albert Einstein

What if we made our purpose to live for the greater good?

We could make choices, take action, and live based on helping each other and the planet. I stand with the teachers, gurus, and peaceniks who remind us the power of love. Let’s embrace the feminine, heart centered, group oriented way of living for the good of all. We truly need each other as Einstein and countless spiritual teachers remind us, and love is always the answer.

When we learn to give and receive this universal energy, dear Lieserl, we will have affirmed that love conquers all, is able to transcend everything and anything, because love is the quintessence of life. ~ Albert Einstein

Will you join me in upgrading to love, making love our purpose and priority?

#UpgradingToLove, #LoveIsTheAnswer, #Love

86 thoughts on “Upgrading to Love

  1. Hello dear Brad, wow what a great post, this really speaks to my soul. I totally believe in what you write here, to the point of wanting to move to a spiritual community soon, as I am over many people self-centered ways and long to find like-minded people like you in person!!! Exactly, love and loving comm-unity is the answer. I still believe in the power of creating one’s own joy, too, and I believe both of those approaches can co-exist perfectly…:) Sending much love and big hugs!!! πŸ€—πŸ€—πŸ€— Hope you are well πŸ€—

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Profound and inspiring post, Brad. Loved seeing so much love with your Mother and Brother. Love is everything. Our whole world is made on Love and there is nothing but Love. God is Love and Love must Love. I will surely follow you in loving each and every being, nature and our lovely planet and animals too. Thanks a lot.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. So many good thoughts here, Brad! I’ve been contemplating lately that the collective good matters–and we needn’t be so threatened by it. I agree with you–there’s enough to go ’round and we need to think beyond ourselves. I do think Gen Z is better at this than their older brethren.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Amen to all of this, Brad! I have never understood why our houses have to be so big and why people have their garages packed to the rafters with things, that most of the time, they don’t even use. Makes no sense cause it just causes so much unnecessary stress. We should all live like fungi. That would be perfect, my friend. HNS. πŸ„πŸŒΈπŸ’•

    Liked by 5 people

  5. YES❣️we must all wake up to our interconnectedness and love. It takes us to a higher level of consciousness .. which Einstein states is the only way to really solve problems. Thank you for sharing this Brad πŸ™

    Liked by 5 people

  6. Great post Brad!
    Many, many years ago I read somewhere that “Happiness is a choice”. Since that day, every morning I wake up and make a decision to be happy no matter what. Just making that decision changes my whole outlook. Being alive is a great gift. Later I read the quote: β€œHappiness is a choice that requires effort at times.” ― Aeschylus. And it is true.
    I am sorry you feel pressured to be a certain way, happy, or anything else. Try to stop listening to society and the outside. Focus on what makes you smile and brings you joy.
    You are the captain of your boat!
    Living simply and helping others, are some of the ways I give back for all the blessings I receive.
    Blessings to you! β™₯β™₯

    Liked by 4 people

  7. In all religious, and from all spiritual leaders and affirmations, we read “and the greatest of these is love.” Love IS the answer. Love to all, not just to our own existence. And without finding meaning in our lives (a way to give to others) it’s difficult to love ourselves. And if we can’t love ourselves, we find it very difficult to love others. So, to GIVING and receiving in our acts of kindness and doing, so we can all BE full of joy and love. Your post is right on, Brad.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. A very interesting post and a discussion worth having. I think all systems pursue happiness.

    The mistake might be in the way they choose to do this and how they perceive the path to happiness. Whether it is achieved by self gain and accumulation of money in thehands of a few. Or whether it is achieved by taking others with us as we move forward.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. A great post, Brad, and so full of wisdom. I completely see how you distinguish happiness and love, although nothing would make me happier than a world ruled by love, kindness, and compassion. I suppose happiness is too subjective when we take into account a diversity of perspectives. Love is less prone to manipulation. The comparison between Norway and the US is enlightening, but of course some people will be unhappy with that since their happiness is dependent on capitalism. Your point taken.

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  10. A thought-provoking post, Brad. That side-by-side list is depressing (for the U.S.), but not surprising. For several years, I have found myself buying less and less and giving away more and more. Pandemic living further drove home the lesson of things I can live without. I know I am not alone in feeling this way. I believe that living a life of meaning and purpose is intrinsically rewarding and where happiness lives. ✨

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Brad, your post is a call for love and care to take first place in society where individual interest has often risen to the top at the cost of others. ‘We need to work together for the common good, creating new ways of living that transcend our personal needs and wants.’ The contrast between Norway and America is interesting. Yet, a comparison forty years ago the picture would have given a very different picture when Norway was a poor country with few resources. Oil has made it rich and yes, the government has ensured that the wealth has been spread evenly (one hopes) across the population.

    A deeply fascinating essay, Brad and I love the quotes from Einstein – ones I will save for future reference.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A wise and lovely post, Brad. I have often questioned the wisdom of founding the vision of a new nation on the principles of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It seems to miss the most important values that you have described with such eloquence. πŸ’œ

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Brad,
    As you know, I often post about love and I have always believed that love is the answer. I stand with you in “living to give.” I believe that love offers each of us a space to inquire about our beliefs and evolve our ways of thinking.
    Thanks for sharing your voice.
    Ali

    Liked by 2 people

  14. A beautiful post Brad, written from the heart❀️ Thankyou for sharing your wisdom and ever loving interest in our natural and magnificent world… that you are a unique and essential part ofπŸ₯°πŸ™ much love, Barbara x

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Totally love this! Such a great post. Putting the common good ahead of personal gain would solve so many problems in the world .And looking for a meaningful life rather than mere happiness would do us each a world of good too. Thanks for sharing the graph between Socialist and Capitalist counties too. The thing is, what we value most in Capitalism is free enterprise, and that can totally co-exist with a living wage, universal healthcare, and basic safety-nets to help all members of society who are struggling. Not only co-exist, but keeping people safe and healthy would spur new enterprise as well.

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  16. It is TOTALLY the answer!! In every instance…in every situation! Einstein was a brilliant man and he sure understood this. If ever there was a time here on earth when this could help…it is NOW!! And funny how when we allow love to be in the forefront…giving it…receiving it…the result IS happiness!
    Thanks for posting this important post!! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I am so glad I clicked on this post, Brad. I echo the sentiments of the others – a great thoughtful post that encourages us to see the truth and what truly brings us content. It is so true how over the decades so many strive for bigger and better, as you mentioned bigger houses and grander personal wealth. And you also hear about people taking about getting even bigger houses and earning even more wealth. Some people might be really happy this way. But there is also so much more to life than chasing the next bigger thing or the next big thing.

    As you said, ‘We need people, relationships, and love to survive and grow’. So agree with this. Over the last year, I’ve slowed down and took the time to connect on a deeper level with people around me and learnt there is more to life than hustling all the time. Giving someone your time and having someone give you their time is such a precious thing – always a meaningful exchange.

    Joining you in upgrading to love. Thanks for sharing and hope is all is well on your end πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Wonderful message, Brad! Einstein shows us that a person can be intelligent intellectually and also be wise and compassionate – what a perfect combination. Upgrading to love includes self love, because when we make love a priority, there’s enough to go around and we can love our neighbors as ourselves. I wish you much love always.

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  19. I have been curious about happiness since a very young age, and in a way, it never made sense to me. It never lasted, those around me rarely seemed at peace. I loved what you highlighted in your post – We need people, relationships, and love to survive and grow. The currency of Love, genuine regard and kindness for each other brings out such inherent joy of living this life – and yet most of us get lost in the pursuit of happiness in things far out there. I agree with nothing wrong in pursuing our material dreams, yet I feel it needn’t be either/or.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Brad, I just got a word press acct and this is the first post I read. How do you like that?!! I loved your post. My 2 cents – I believe it was Budda who said “the key to happiness is helping others”. Also, I thought I’d share information from a infographic that surveyed countries on their values. Family, community and loyalty (based on 500K world-wide respondents) were universal values. However, we (North America) were one of the highest (along with Europe) to value material possessions. How sad!! Let’s start there. Stop consuming and start enjoying nature and living!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Glen and welcome to the blogging game. I hope you find it as satisfying as I have. I’m delighted you found my blog and enjoyed this post on love. I agree with you and Buddha that helping others is the key to happiness and true satisfaction, and yes to living less material lives.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Love is most definitely the most important force in this world that binds us all! I absolutely love the way this article has depicted love to be the ultimate adhesive to our lives. Your thoughts are amazing. Do share more such pieces of your thoughts with us

    #MyWordsKraft

    Liked by 2 people

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