Some days, the thought of trying to ‘love people’ sounds impossible.
When you watch the news and hear stories of all the people out there who have different opinions than you, fight for the things you’re against, and constantly oppose what you’re supporting, ‘love’ might not be the first thing that comes to mind.
The media loves to highlight stories that drive people apart instead of all the positive stories worldwide that bring people together.
National Love People Day
Lifeline Church in Chicago started National Love People Day.
You may also see the day called National Love Day.
They aim “to impact Chicago’s metropolitan and suburban areas with the message of Jesus Christ.”
National Love Day was created as an effort to love the people both within their church and their community.
Their Instagram profile says it simply: “We love people! No matter what, or who you are! Your race, age, gender, whatever it is, we don’t care!”
Now, what began in Chicago is being spread around the world through National Love Day.
Everyone is encouraged to show love to others around them through random acts of kindness on National Love Day.
Why I Love This Idea
Years ago, when I lived in Michigan, the church I attended did something kind of similar, and I was blessed to be part of the team planning it for a couple of years.
The church would donate money for a day in the spring we called Outflow.
The goal was to show love to the people in our local communities.
People within the communities would nominate others who needed help in one way or another, including things like home repairs and yard clean-up to car repairs or clothing for their children.
Then, the team would go to work analyzing the needs to see what we could complete and assigning volunteers to each project that would take place on Outflow Day.
In addition, volunteers would be stationed at the local gas stations to buy gas for people as a random act of kindness.
It was an incredible experience to be a part of, and the stories that came from it were powerful.
Helping People in Practical Ways Speaks Volumes
People were always so grateful and, at times, in disbelief that people they didn’t know at a church they didn’t attend would come and do something for free for no reason other than to be kind and loving.
We live in a world where everyone is always busy rushing from one thing to the next.
We pass people every day without even taking a second to smile, nod, and acknowledge them.
And when people do positively engage with one another, it’s generally with people they like and have things in common with.
We rarely see or hear stories of people being kind to others who are on the opposite side of the fence from them.
It’s interesting to me that in recent years, people have become increasingly divided, even with the strong push for diversity, equity, and inclusion happening across the board, which should have been intended to join people together.
So, how do we do a good job of ‘loving people’ when the world has become so divided?
How to Build Community with people with different perspectives
It’s easy to get along with, care for, and love people who think like you, right?
When you have the same opinions on hot-button issues, the tension is gone.
However, what about all the other people?
You know who I’m talking about—that one person who has the opposite opinion of you on everything.
They vote for the other candidate, they show up at the other protests, and they watch the other news channel.
Your conversations often turn into heated arguments because the two of you just don’t have any important life opinions in common.
How do you get along with those people?
Remember that perception shapes perspectives
Do you remember those debates that took place online and throughout living rooms a few years ago: ‘yanny or laurel,’ ‘the pink and white or gray and teal shoe,’ and the ‘white and gold or black and blue dress’?
If you heard ‘yanny,’ there was no way your family could convince you that it was saying ‘laurel,’ even though that’s what they heard.
And if you saw the dress as black and blue, but your coworkers saw it as white and gold, there was no amount of convincing that could sway them to your side.
You know what you saw and what you heard.
Your perception shaped the way you saw reality.
Of course, there are scientific reasons why we saw and heard things differently in those examples, but it was still shocking to believe that someone else could believe something so differently from us.
But that’s what happens around your city, state, country, and world every. single. day.
We see things differently.
We experience things differently, and our experiences shape the way we see things, hear things, and think about things.
Remember that others may feel or think differently because they are experiencing the world differently from you.
Keeping this in mind as you interact with others helps you lean in and learn more about another person instead of growing frustrated because they think differently than you.
Remember that you don’t have to agree with people to love them
Agree and affirm are not synonyms for love.
You can love people even if you disagree with them on issues that are important to you.
That’s one of the things great about Love People Day or the Outflow event mentioned above; it was doing nice things for others to show love regardless of who they were or what they believed.
You didn’t need to first agree with the church for them to do something nice for you.
Unconditional love doesn’t come with expectations and requirements.
Loving people is a choice—you choose to love your spouse, your children, and your friends.
You can also choose to show love to others, including complete strangers, even if you don’t agree on anything.
How much better would the world be if we weren’t always focused on trying to persuade others to think the same things that we do?
Remember to focus on the good
If I spend too much time watching the news and scrolling social media, I start to feel a little down and depressed.
It becomes overwhelming to think about how bad the world is, how evil people are, and what kind of world my children are growing up in.
But when I step away from the screens and start connecting with people around me, I realize there is still so much more good in this world than bad.
The media’s job is to keep people coming back for more, and fear-mongering is a successful way to make it happen.
They highlight every story that makes you feel like the world is falling apart because then you feel the need to keep coming back to see what the updates are.
It’s ridiculous, but it works.
However, when all we do is listen to stories about how horrible people are, it becomes really difficult to think about showing love to others.
Therefore, we are dividing further and further apart.
But if we intentionally choose to look for the good things happening around us, we’ll begin to see more and more of them.
We’ll see people coming together and helping one another—even when they don’t agree on everything.
It’s what we see happen when wildfires destroy towns, hurricanes flood cities, and other natural disasters leave people desperately needing help—people come through for one another.
But why wait for a tragic circumstance to occur before getting out and showing love to those around you, in your community, or around the world?
National Love People Day takes place on September 30th, and while it’s a great day to spread awareness about the importance of this type of action, it’s something we should all be doing all year long.
I know I didn’t get into sharing ideas of what you can do, but we have plenty of articles helping with that already:
- 7 Acts of Kindness to Create a Kinder World
- 5 Easy Things To Do For Pay It Forward Day
- Good Deed Quotes
- Be Kind Quotes Inspiring You to Spread Joy
Share a story about how someone else has shown you kindness and love or how you have shown love to someone else in the comments.
Let’s spread the message together!