“What do I know about love?” as you question your new role. Weeks go by and you attempt to write down your thoughts. You try writing a blog about love and post about love on Facebook. You think this will help clarify your thoughts and begin to get the word out about love.
One or two people comment on your blog and a handful of people like your post. Your reply, “Thanks mom!” Your writer’s block is so bad that you doubt that your are one. But the voice from the future keeps prodding you.
You decide to take a break and attend one of Kelly McGonigal’s meditation classes. As she begins to focus on breathing you find yourself falling deeper and deeper in a trance. Drool starts running from the side of your mouth and you reach up to wipe it and you can’t move your arm. You think “Oh my God, I’ve had a stroke!” Then McGonigal’s voice is transformed and you hear a new voice.
“It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood,” he says as you open your eyes and you see Mr. Rogers! “Welcome to today’s Mastermind panel on love, Neighbor.”
In addition to Mr. Rogers you see Amanda Palmer, Kelly McGonigal, Martin Luther King, Jr., Elon Musk, Mother Teresa and Simon Sinek. Now you are really freaked out, you can’t move and drool drips into your lap. Mr. Rogers continues “We like you and we want to share with you about love, won’t that be nice?” You are so entranced that you can’t even smile or nod your head.
Mr. Rogers turns to the panel and asks, “Amanda, what can you tell us about love? She stands up and you notice that her body is painted over like a one hundred dollar bill. “What’s really cool is the little things that people do to help me. I mean, whatever city I go to I never have to get a hotel room. All I have to do is to tweet and ask if anyone can put me and the band up at their house and I get dozens of people responding. It is really cool. They open their house give a spare bed or couch and share food with us. And when I was needing money for my album I just asked and they helped me. I was so moved. It allowed me to share my art with them. It’s really a loving relationship even though we hardly know each other.”
“That’s nice, Amanda,” Mr. Rogers says. “Little things like sharing are so important. Kelly, what can you tell us about love?
“Well, Mr. Rogers, Neuroscience has shown that there is chemical process that happens when people have a close connection with each other that facilitates the bonding process. Researchers have shown that the powerful chemical oxytocin floods the system of nursing mothers. It is a feel good drug that helps create a deep bond between mother and child. Oxytocin shows up when we hug, touch or even think about a close connection we have with people. This makes researchers like me believe that love is more complicated and mysterious than we realized. That connection we feel is an essential aspect of love and our bodies help make those connections possible with the chemicals and hormones it secretes.”
“That’s nice Kelly! May I have a hug?” They hug, “That’s very nice, Kelly.” Mr Rogers turns, “Martin and Elon, What can you tell us about love?”
“I still have a dream, Mr. Rogers. I have a dream that ALL injustice and inequality will be removed from the face of the earth, that EVERY child in EVERY nation will be safe, FREE from poverty, healthy, and able be EVERYTHING they can be for the good of ALL humanity!”
Musk speaks, “And I see a time when the world is free from its dependence on oil and sustainable renewable clean energy is readily available for every home. And I see a time we can travel to distant earth-like planets, explore the riches of the universe and make safe new homes for future generations.”
Martin nods approvingly and adds, “But the problems are severe. Poverty and despair consume billions of people today and children are DYING. But we can overcome when we put our hearts and minds to it. We can overcome and we SHALL overcome! And we SHALL be Victorious!” This is love!
Musk adds, “We have the creativity and ingenuity to send people to Mars. And we can develop sustainable renewable energy. But if we don’t act soon, it may be too late for our planet. Love works to solve the world’s problems.”
“You two gentlemen are very passionate about what you believe. That is very nice!” Mr. Rogers said. “Mother Teresa and Simon Sinek what can you add?”
“Well, Mr. Rogers, it is all about the Why,” Simon says. “When I listen to the other panelist everyone of them has a big WHY. And what I hear, and what I have found, is that the biggest why is helping others be safe so that they can reach their potential. That excites me. Love is the driving force that gives people meaning and significance in life and it is something that affects the generations. But love is also the What and the How. Love solves problems and does little things to sustain relationships at home and at work constantly producing “things” for the benefit of others. And at the core of it is love.”
Mother Teresa speaks, “It is very simple for me. Love is Eternity. It is beautiful and I see it in each face. Love is today and love is forever. Love gives meaning to everything.”
“Thank you very much Simon and Mother Teresa,” Mr. Rogers said, “That is very nice.”
You felt a hand on your shoulder. “Sir, sir… are you alright,” asks a uniformed woman. As you looked up it was a paramedic.
“Yes, I’m fine,” as you reached up to wipe your mouth.
For days after that “event” you question, “Amanda Palmer?” But your ideas about love grow. You find yourself writing in your pocket Moleskine notebook, Love is little things, oxytocin, victory over problems. Love is eternity. Like lightning striking you jump to your feet, throw your right hand in the air and shout “Eureka!” as you head out for a hamburger.
“L” Little things.