Quote of the week 38: What can Jane Bennet teach us about love?

This beautiful “Pride and Prejudice” character, Jane Bennet, challenges us all to build relationships of love and kindness. Let’s experience a lot more of the “love paradox.” Or would you prefer loneliness? Read on . . .

This beautiful, inspiring quote sets before us an almost impossible challenge: unconditional love. How many of us have reached those awesome heights: unconditional love? It simply means loving others without any personal agenda, without any strings attached.

A person of unconditional love is a rare species. They stand head and shoulders above the rest of us. One thinks of Jane Bennet in “Pride and Prejudice” – so loving that she thought the best of everyone. She had a heart filled with love and concern for others, whatever their faults and failings. 

Most of us, unfortunately, find it hard to follow such a towering example. Our spiritual growth is stunted. The problem is our selfishness: ME first. Our automatic pilot forever whispers in our ear: 

“What’s in it for me?”

We are all so wrapped up in ourselves, most of the time, that we live by self-interest. We spend all day with our mind filled with what we want. It’s like background music; not necessarily the main focus, but relentlessly present.

It’s so difficult to forget our self-interest, and to focus all our heart and soul on another person, and how we can help them. Life runs on our relationships. They are key to our personal growth. Life’s all about love, kindness, compassion for others.

Perhaps the fundamental religious attitude of “love your neighbour as yourself” helps us to put things in perspective.

We all automatically love, and take care of ourselves — unless of course we’re suffering from a self-hating psychological illness. We should feel that loving drive about caring for others.

The famous “Golden Rule” teaches the same lesson: you yourself are the criterion for how you should treat others. Would you do that to yourself? Would you like others to do that to you? No? Well, then, you don’t do it to anyone else. What good things would you like? Then help your neighbour to have them as well. Again, life’s about love.

For example: people who’ve experienced “near-death experiences” (and there are thousands of well documented cases) all speak of their experience of overwhelming love “on the other side.” It convinces them that love’s where it’s at.

The paradox of love is simply this: the more we give to others, unselfishly, the more we get back. I am reminded of that other well-known little saying:

“Kindness if hardest thing in the world to give away, because it’s always returned.

Unfortunately, the opposite is also true: the more selfish we are, the less we receive. People are put off by selfish people, those who are just out for themselves. 

Sadly, selfish people often end up lonely. Why not give real love a chance? No regrets later on.

Gerry McCann


P.S. Any thoughts on love and selfishness? Please let us know by leaving a comment. It could really help others.

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