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A conversation is recounted in the book # Shantaram  in which the character, Khaderbhai, says: “There is no such thing as believing in #G...

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Thursday, 4 July 2013


Nelson Mandela

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Nelson Mandela, Long Road to Freedom

As #Nelson_Mandela nears the end of his long road to freedom, it seems appropriate to reflect for a moment on some of his better known quotes and try and distill the essence of this quotes.  This is the first in the series.

Whilst it must be correct that we learn to hate, do we really need to be taught to love?  Or is it something that we inherently know how to do?  

Love is our original default state when we are born.  We have a knowing - call it a natural instinct if you will - about how to do that, just as we know how to laugh and know how to cry.  No one needs to teach us that stuff: we just know.  Sure, although we can weigh ourselves down so much with our baggage that we forget to laugh and forget to love, we don't forget how to do those things.  All we need remember is that it is our self-imposed barriers which prevent our love from spilling out.  Drop the barriers and the love flows again.

The barriers we put up are nothing more than fear-induced.  We fear the possibility of being wounded through our vulnerability, so we don't allow ourselves to love fully.  It's not that we don't know how. It's just the protection mechanism that kicks in.  Ironically, this is the very mechanism which results in us receiving less love.  Put up a barrier and the possibility of connection and mutual love is reduced.

NEXT TIME:  Transcending our fear.

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