The Case for Embracing Love—the Ultimate Operating Principle for a Flourishing, All-Win Future
You can choose to operate from fear or love. But only love will generate a Golden Age for yourself, humanity, and the planet.
What is the driving force behind an activist's actions?
From my experience and personal acquaintance with hundreds of innovators and change-makers, it has become clear to me that our actions are primarily driven by one of two forces: fear or love.
Both of these fuels are contagious and have a significant impact on those around us.
Fear-driven individuals tend to create an atmosphere of anxiety and negativity, while those who operate from a place of love generate warmth, support, and inspiration.
Love-fueled people help generate FLOURISHING.
Let's dive into how different it is to be driven by one versus the other.
Fear: The Easy (But Cowardly) Choice
Fear is often the default choice for many people because it's the easier option.
It's easy to make decisions based on what we fear or what makes us angry.
But living in fear is unsustainable and ultimately leads to a dark and unfulfilling existence.
And it creates the worst ripple effects.
It creates an energetic black hole.
It desensitizes people to the suffering of others and of nature.
As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Darkness cannot cast out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
His wisdom is timeless.
Choosing Love: A Transformational Journey
There's a good reason why I chose to find another fuel besides fear:
It was killing me and my relationships.
In 2017, I began a very dark, albeit well-intentioned, journey to make a difference in the world.
At the time, I was angry about what I felt certain public figures and groups were doing to the United States.
I turned to internet activism: I spent hours a day trying to convince my followers to hate the people I chose to hate.
My posts went viral almost every day.
I got a BILLION impressions in 2017 alone. And I spent ZERO dollars to achieve it.
But as much as I thought I was being an effective and COURAGEOUS warrior, my actions didn't require courage.
It was EASY to hate. It was easy to create fear. It was easy to be fueled by fear of other people. And that was the fuel I chose.
I was in and out of Internet activism for the next three years. Each time I chose some form of fear as my fuel, even though the goal of my activism changed over time.
But this fear-fueled activism was killing me. It was killing many close relationships.
My impact on the people in my life was getting so bad that I simply had to stop Internet activism cold turkey.
So over the past year, I've made a conscious decision to be fueled by love instead. I now wake up every morning excited to contribute to the people, communities, and planet I care about. By focusing on what's good and generative, I've found that my life has become more fulfilling and meaningful. Instead of criticizing others, I've chosen to shine a light on the virtuous and beautiful people who deserve recognition and support.
Mother Teresa once expressed a similar sentiment: "Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.
Love: The Path to Self-Love and a Flourishing World
When we choose to love others and our planet, we are essentially loving ourselves. This is because our flourishing as individuals depends on the flourishing of other people and the flourishing of our natural ecosystems.
This interconnectedness manifests in many ways:
Loving animals is loving yourself 🐾
Calling for peace is loving yourself ☮️
Wanting nature to win is loving yourself 🍄
Listening lovingly to people is loving yourself 👂
Loving people from other countries is loving yourself 🌍
Building tech for ecological flourishing is loving yourself 🌱
Taking care of people who take care of others is loving yourself 💖
Building democracy tech at small and large scales is loving yourself 🗳️
Helping communities adopt foundational technologies is loving yourself 💡
Throwing inclusive parties where people can feel like themselves is loving yourself 🎉
Standing up for the sovereignty of nations, especially indigenous nations, is loving yourself ✊
Conclusion: Choose Love as Your Way (So That Everyone Wins)
It's easiest to choose fear as the fuel of your activism.
It will be the easiest way to go viral.
It will be the easiest way to create a profitable media company (at least for now).
But fear-based activism simply creates more fear. It creates more darkness in the world. And it destroys your soul.
So let's all work in our long-term self interest and live our lives with love.
It blows my mind how a love-based way of thinking, feeling, and operating can enable ourselves, others, and the plants, animals, and natural ecosystems that allow us all to flourish.
When we operate from a place of love, we embody the Golden Age we can create together.
Happy Flower Moon! LFGrow 🌱
Shoutout to Milos Tomic for encouraging and inspiring me to write this piece.
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