Mother Teresa commented that the greatest poverty in the world today is that an increasing number of people suffer from the lack of love rather than the lack of material needs.
Everyone suffers from loneliness in one way or another. Many, however, are not so fortunate as to have someone who is able to love them back, or for that matter, to truly love such that communion is attained.
As human persons, our hearts desire communion – where the heart speaks to heart, where bonding takes place, where both parties grow closer to each other.
But how often does this occur in our lives?
Some will have at least one friend capable of communing with. Yet, there are many who are not so blessed with such friendships. Many marriages these days do not even reach communion. Couples may talk a lot and even engage in intercourse, but their hearts do not speak to each other.
Sometimes, even if we have friends capable of attaining communion with us, it may be the case that we ourselves do not allow it to happen because of our fears or insecurities. For such a deep connection of hearts to take place, it requires opening ourselves up to a state of vulnerability. But as the saying goes, love conquers all fears. If I see that person as my friend, I should trust that this friend will not hurt me in such a state of vulnerability. If we worry all the time about being hurt, we give up every opportunity to be loved.
This lack of communion is perhaps the reason why so many of us have a strong desire to be understood, to be listened, to be loved.
We talk. And for the many of us who love talking, we love a lot. But in the midst of all that chatter, who listens carefully? In the midst of explaining ourselves, who tries to understand?
We all want to love, yet deep in our hearts, we want to be loved, and perhaps to be loved more than to love. There are many around who, like us, share in this desire to be loved.
If we were to look back at our experiences of loneliness, we would discover that in many of these situations, we silently await the arrival of someone who would come to love us when we need it most. Very rarely would we find ourselves making the first move, as we are afraid of being looked upon as needy people.
As human persons, we share similar experiences of loneliness and act thus in a similar manner. If we ourselves are silently yearning for someone to love us, what more the lonely people around us, who, like us, silently await the day for someone to show some love, and perhaps to give them a chance to be listened, to be understood, to be loved.
Yet, if everyone is too busy waiting, who will provide it?
That is the challenge that is presented to us. Let us not be afraid to open up our hearts.
When love is encountered, hearts change, lives change, people change.
Where love is missing, put love in.