In a few words and with a lot of feeling. If I had to choose from different possibilities for describing what is best about humanity, I would say it is affection. The best thing about this feeling of affection is it doesn’t require any explanation at all. It should be ranked with the air we breathe in the hierarchy of basic needs.
I have been working with the Principle of Solidarity, which says: “When you treat others as you want to be treated, you liberate yourself,” and in trying specifically to discover how I want to be treated, discarding different possibilities like “with respect,” “with kindness,” “with honesty,” etc, which all sounded correct but lacked internal truth, I realized that “with affection” was fireproof. That’s how I want to be treated, without any doubt, and so I’d better begin treating others that way.
In that context, when I express this affection, “the other being” seems close, warm, friendly and true, and in a very simple but real way, I can experience that I exist because the other exists.
This affection that I feel, or can feel for others, also has the quality of being felt for and by myself. I can treat myself with affection, and that is one of the best ways to treat myself, and I’ll say it again, to treat others.
October 26, 2020