Sunday, April 29, 2007

Stand By Whom?

My wife & I listen to different radio stations. She favors country and modern pop, while I prefer a weird eclectic mix of 50s & 60s rock 'n roll, American folk, Celtic, bluegrass and classical. You can easily tell who last drove our truck by what radio station pops up at ignition.

This morning I went down to the store for a little grocery shopping. As the radio came on, it reminded me my wife last drove the truck. There was a female recording artist -- I have no inkling who it was -- singing, "I'll Stand By You", a song previously recorded by Rod Stewart and The Pretenders.

The following lines jumped out at me:
When the night falls on you
You don't know what to do
Nothing you confess
Could make me love you less.
Isn't that going a wee bit far? I mean, if my lover confessed to gunning down a slew of nuns, orphans and puppies, I think I might indeed love her far less. Heck, I might not even LIKE my lover anymore.

When I was a young lad, like so many others, I believed in the silly sentiment, "Love conquers all". As I've grown older and wiser, however, I've come to realize that, on at least one level, that's a nonsensical statement.

Love, trust and friendship are built on shared values. While a person can certainly have a strong physical attraction for someone they have nothing in common with, it's near impossible to sustain a relationship with someone you don't really like. Heck, it's hard enough sustaining relationships with people you do like and find common ground with!

Now I know some of you will say something to the effect of "You can love the person, while not approving of the behavior". I don't dispute this at all, but this principle should apply to everyone, not just those one is intimate with.

All people fall short of maintaining harmony within their lives. Consequently, we should look beyond anyone's behavior -- and this includes people like Adolph Hitler, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Daumer, Saddam Hussein or even George W. Bush -- to love the person.

In essence, "I'll Stand By You" could just as easily be the anthem of humanity. We should all endeavor to stand by each other because we are all of one reality.

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