I have come to dislike the phrase Falling in Love. Sorry hopeless romantics. It's not that I am against the notion, I "fell" in love with my wife 25 years ago and I am more in love with her every day. What I object to is the connotation that falling in love evokes. It makes it feel arbitrary, out of our control even. Something that happens to you against your will. The reason I object to the phrase is because if you accept involuntarily being made to fall into love, doesn't that mean that you can just as unwittingly fall OUT of love?
Love is a choice.
I think that is true for all kinds of love; romantic, sibling, and even neighborly. Love in any form is never easy, at least not the lasting kind. Being willing to so easily accept "falling out" of love is a coward's way of escape. And it is prevalent in the worldnwe live in. Especially among neighbors. Why do we have such contempt for our neighbors and community members that have a different view than us?
I love this story about why sometimes we choose not to love our neighbor.
A couple sat at their kitchen table to indulge in a delicious breakfast. The wife looked out the window and saw her neighbor hanging laundry on the clothesline. "Her laundry is never clean!" she said to her husband. "Someone needs to teach her a thing or two when it comes
to washing her clothes!" Day after day, the wife would complain to her husband about their neighbor's dirty laundry. One morning, as they enjoyied their breakfast, she noticed something was different.
"Wow, look!" the surprised wife said to her husband, "Her clothes are clean.
Someone must have taught her how to wash her clothes." Without raising his head from his plate,the husband kindly responded,"Actually, honey, I got up early this morning and washed the window."
And so it is with life - what we see when watching others depends on the window through which we look. Have more patience, more empathy, more understanding ... and choose to love.