The 1960’s prophets proclaimed a new era of peace and love, and good luck to them. Unfortunately that revolution went too hard and too fast and was ruined by drug use. Another revolution in the 1980’s encouraged greed and self, and the dreams of the 1960’s were regarded as laughable.
But to find peace and love, you need to know where to look and what it means. Love in English has many different connotations, some regard love as a pill, some as sex and for some it’s an obsession.
Jesus Christ’s principles for relationships, in my opinion, are balance, agape and truth. Agape is an ancient Greek word meaning giving or sacrificial love. It could be an unasked kindness to a friend, loved one or even homeless person. Ultimately it can be to give your life for someone.
The Bible is a useful historical source and is a window into how the cultures dealt with the Patriarchal society. This society was designed to facilitate agriculture. huntable game was disappearing and humans needed to work the land to survive. To do this required tribes to split into families. Men would work the land, and women would have babies to provide labour for the farm work. Despite this the population did not grow much. The wife would end up pregnant, breast feeding and child rearing to provide a workforce and manage the home. The husband would do the work of farming, often on unfavourable land. The wife was tied to the home and the husband was out and about.
In the Bible there is a couple of times when Paul instructs his readers; “Wives obey your husband, husband care for your wives.” In an age of equality this sounds absurd, but in asking for the wife’s obedience Paul is maintaining the status quo, but instructing the husband to care for the wife as an act of Christian agape love that balances the relationship. So, the man would have more power, but more responsibility in a time when life was a hand to mouth existence.
In England today there appears to be many belief structures that border on fundamentalism whether they are religious or not. Whether it’s standing up for rights, or getting more for themselves, there is a distinct lack of toleration of others views. If you consider that it is impossible to be 100% correct in your belief structure, does that not mean that there may be some truth in others. Would life be better if the common ground, between people, was used to improve each other’s lives? We are after all social beings and need company to survive. People with different beliefs will have different skills. There is an advantage to collaboration in living in groups, getting the most out of their abilities and therefore life.
That to me is the most important thing in life. To find and develop your skills, whether they are appreciated or not and to accept and diminish your faults. Then to encourage relationships to grow and flourish under the guiding principles of balance, agape and truth.
In my opinion the best thing to happen to the UK, since the birth of the NHS, is the Power Sharing agreement in Northern Ireland. Not only does it point the province in the right direction for peace, and hopefully end the 499 year old conflict between protestant and catholic. But it demonstrates how people that disagree, and even those who agree can work together. These types of compromises can give a win-win result. Perhaps relationships could be based on balance, agape and truth as a guide and mutual benefit to sustain them.
Applying these principles in our societies could lead to a new social revolution. One for all ages, that brings a new social structure and affects all areas of life. Perhaps politics, maybe business, for goodness sake sex and relationships and definitely in arts and culture.
Is it wrong to dream? I don’t think so. What is wrong is not to give a dream a chance.