True Love Lessons from Historical People
Throughout the ages, the quest of the great philosophers in both the East and the West has been for universal principles that can guide us into an authentic existence.
Socrates believed that our happiness and well-being depend on the quality of our inner life. He believed that to do wrong is to damage one's inner self; so, to do wrong is worse than to be wronged. Virtue begins with the knowledge of the good. Socrates challenged people to search for answers deep within themselves, and he focused on definitions that illumine the universal quality of a subject. This led to the development of the concept of a universal, meaning a general quality that may be present in many individual existing beings.
Lao Tzu is best known for his ideas about the Tao, or the virtuous way and the creative principle that orders the universe. To follow the Tao means to live in a simple and honest manner, being true to oneself. Lao Tzu taught people not only to respond with goodness when others treat them well but also to respond with goodness when others cause them harm.
Love seeks joy through manifesting truth, beauty, and goodness. Therefore, to study the workings of love is the task of ethics. Confucius emphasized "Jen" (benevolence) and outlined the proper relationships between parent and child, elder brother and younger brother, husband and wife, teacher and disciple, ruler and governed. Confucius saw the essence of ethics as duty. From an objective point of view, duty means the impersonal application of rules. But seen subjectively, duty should be infused with heart.
Heart seeks to perfect itself through the principles of love. Confucius believed that "Jen" should permeate the social fabric. In other words, the moral law and ethical principles shape the social law and the political law. The Confucian sages understood that social relationships should be cultivated according to the laws and principles inherent in the nature of things. The Great Learning declares:
The ancients wishing to cultivate their persons first rectified their minds. Wishing to rectify their minds, they sought to be sincere in their thought. Wishing to be sincere in their thought, they achieved perfect knowledge. Such achievement of perfect knowledge lay in the investigation of things.
In the Buddhist teaching of love, there are four elements.
The first is friendship, brotherhood, loving-kindness.
And the second is the capacity to understand the suffering and help remove and transform it – compassion.
The third element is joy – your joy is her joy; her joy is our joy.
The last element is nondiscrimination. This is a higher form of love.
The four qualities have no limits – infinite love – these elements are also call the Four Unlimited Minds.
In the Bible, Jesus was asked:
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself." Matthew 22:36-39
When there is a society based on loving families, it multiplies to a good environment.