To Love
Off the Wall, January 11, 2018

Recently I received an email from one of my readers stating how much she enjoyed my Off the Wall column and then spoke of something she learned in church one Sunday.

Her pastor stated, “We must try to love one another even though we don’t have to like them.”

I know of the scripture verse as it’s been taught many times in our Church as well.

Getting away from the Bible, yet concentrating on that philosophy, I began to think of the two acts of loving versus not liking. Ponder them a minute before I continue. I’ve been giving it some thought for a full day now and arrived at the following conclusions with which you may or may not agree.
Let me first start with “liking.” Usually we are introduced to a person either through a greeting or a handshake. I, for example had the pleasure of meeting an individual at the Latrobe Art Center who operated a nearby business. When introduced to him, we shook hands. I felt positive vibrations (‘vibes’) through that fleshy connection, and instantly took a liking to the individual.

Ask yourself. When you are introduced to a person who you’ve never met before, don’t you get certain ‘vibes’ that tell brain cell number 927456 how you instantly feel about this man, woman or even youth. There is that certain something that will send a signal stating, “Yes, I want to get to know this individual more,” or “No, keep a distance between he (she) and you.”

When I met this gent, I instantly took a liking to him because of his outward, flamboyant personality. I wanted to get to know him better, learn about his trade and possibly reconnect with him in the future.

It doesn’t always happen that way. Sometimes I am introduced to people and I feel I already know their personality by their limp handshake, or upon meeting these individuals, they look beyond my eyes or study somebody else’s features while all the time supposing to be connecting to me.

I really do want to like this person, but find that his coldness is a definite turnoff. If only he would have shed a little warmth and sincerity, maybe I would have added him to my “like list,” but in all honesty, was it my fault he came across this way or his?

Now, there’s something to think about.

That’s where I began to put this puzzle together. What is it that concocts imaginations within our brains why we do or don’t like individuals? I think it is easy to love all individuals once we like them, but if we make up our minds ahead of time not to like certain people, it’s a very hard thing to go beyond and love someone.

It almost sounds as though I am getting a little deep here, but really, piecing this whole thing together, I believe with a little effort, the ‘like process’ could easily turn into a ‘love syndrome.’

In my opinion, if we meet someone for the first time, and negative ‘vibes’ become present, then we must try a little harder to connect with this person so that there is a meeting of the minds. It’s surprising how this works.

To sight an example, Mark Wintersniffler from Highpitch Hills, Oregon, always wanted to be a police officer. After attending police officers training school and becoming certified, he joined a local police force not far from his hometown. His sights were high and he had a mind sight to do his job well.

For the first several months everything went well. Than all of a sudden, his commanding officer started to criticize everything he did. Mark did as told even though he was in doubt at times whether he was acting as a uniformed officer should. As the relationship grew, the corporal began yelling at him regardless of what he did. Such actions would fray most people. Not Mark. He reacted with smiles, pleasantness and love.

Maybe that is what the minister was telling this reader. I believe it is our fault if we don’t like people, in general. If things don’t appear as we think they ought to be on the surface, we must go beyond and do our part to further understand individuals.
It may take a little doing, but it’s possible.

Mark was approached by the corporal and asked, “How is it you are treating me so nice when I yell at you constantly?
Love conquers all…

- Paul J. Volkmann
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