We’ve all been taught to love one another. Loving doesn’t mean liking, after all. You can love and respect someone for their goodness, their strength, their passion, their humility, and a number of other things, without liking something they said, did, or represented. But Grand Master Nan Lu turns the table a bit. Can you think about love from his perspective? He says, “How can anyone say, I’ll love you forever? No! You say, “As long as I love you, I will like you.”
The key here is not the love itself, but the time component. What does forever mean? As humans, our lives are based on time. We have certain timeframes in which we wake up, make the bus, leave work, make dinner, get the kids to bed, etc. That routine continues day after day, week after week, month after month, with a bit of spontaneity thrown in at times. But what is forever? Is it the end of our lives? We have all been born, and will all eventually die. To us, birth to death seems like forever. But we, as humans, don’t have a way of comprehending what forever truly means. Our lives are based upon generations of mistakes, advances, and lessons learned. We carry with us everything that our ancestors left us–good and bad. And we will leave our life lessons to future generations. Hundreds of years from now, their lives will be based in part on how we live our lives. Forever is not just part of our existence. It comes before us and extends well beyond us.
Pieces of you will live on forever, just as pieces of your ancestors are continuing their journeys through infinite time. So instead of saying, “I’ll love you forever.”, you can say, “As long as I love you, and you are a part of my heart, I will like you.”