The prize of love

In times of loss, the pain can easily turn to resentment; turn to bitterness. It is especially hard when the loss comes at a price that seems to make no sense. We have lost so many of our men and women of the armed forces, both foreign and domestic, whether they are protecting our own streets or the streets around the world, who sacrificed their family time, their holidays, their health, and sometimes their lives. Or loss of life that comes from senseless hate or addiction. This type of pain tears through families without mercy.

Recently, I lost my grandmother. She was a bold, noble, abundantly loving person. Loss of any kind, especially the lives of loved ones, for any reason that we can say makes sense, or not, hurts. It hurts really bad.

I started thinking recently about what was so different from the society during and after World War II as apposed to now. I am fascinated by the love this country stood for, held close to our hearts, and displayed both during and after that war. So many people today could care less about our history. They would rather remain fixated on their desire for more; More money, more power, more sex, more drugs, more entertainment, more video games, more of anything but love. And why is that?

Because love hurts.

It hurts to care deeply about someone who may very likely hurt you in return. It hurts to love someone who may not be there when you turn 16 to help you get your license. Or who may not even love you back. It hurts to love someone who you know will grow old, and pass from this life to the next. It is just simply easier to hate.

Or, is it more like running out into the middle of a firefight to save your friend, caring more deeply about another human being to the point your own life is at risk.

We had that in this nation at one time. We had it by the majority. We may never have been perfect as a nation, and don’t hold your breathe for that time to come, but we overwhelmingly held on to a value of love. It is sad for me to say that today I do not see that same love.

During World War II this nation pulled together against all opposing odds to overcome and breakthrough a front that was supposed to be impenetrable: Time and time again. After the war was over the nation united, celebrated together as one.

This is something we can have again. It is something we must have again. We do not and should not need to be at war for this to happen. Even though caring deeply about another person will certainly cause you pain, it is worth it. Because the prize of love is life, and to ignore this is to never truly live.

Now we can sit here and debate over how many horrible things our nation did during World War II, or before or after, in an attempt to undermine a much larger truth here. That very argument stems from a pain that you resent bitterly, rather than correct. To be clear, becoming angry about an injustice is healthy as long as you can still love. The goal is to push through the bitterness, the pain, the lies, the hate, and with eyes of love pursue the solution; pursue truth.

I will not take back the days I will spend or have spent getting closer to someone I love in fear they may hurt me. I will not stand idle as another person viciously inflicts pain on my loved ones or me, either. That is not what this is about. It is simply about giving everyone a fair chance to love and be loved by you. They may not appreciate it, but someone will, and to shut the door to that kind of an opportunity because you have decided you can’t take the pain of love any longer, may be shutting the door to your greatest victory.

Derek Krause