The key to a sustainable life is non-coercive* love.

blue early evening view of Cebu City from Soul Camp of Soul Sierra

The key to a sustainable life is non-coercive* love.

And love does not control.

It does not force things.

It flows, and it loves to flow freely.

Nature operates according to love.

“Everything in nature takes to give”

One author put it that way.

The ocean, which both gives and receives, teems with life.

But, the stagnant pond, which only receives and doesn’t give, soon becomes stinky.

So two principles.

  1. No forcing one’s way, no control, no coercion.
  2. Taking and giving – not just taking and taking and taking.

But those two –

Oh, they belong to one thing.

Other-centeredness, that is.

That is, love in its purest form.

Love that is non-coercive. Love that self-gives.

*Oh, but how ironic that we had to qualify the kind of love we’re talking about here.

Non-coercion and love?

Isn’t non-coercion supposed to be a natural part of love?

Turns out, we’ve messed with it.

The term, “love,” I mean.

Let’s take a few steps backward.

A few steps.

To the first point.

The point that love is the key to life.

That love isn’t forcing things one’s way.

That love is not controlling others.

Also, that love is not taking some person’s resources and not giving back.

Love gives.

And it doesn’t seek harm.

So, what do we call the ugly opposite?

Sometimes we call it abuse.

The abuser takes advantage of another person.

The abused gets hurt.

Sometimes we call it toxicity.

It’s poison.

It kills.

It destroys life.

It takes resources and doesn’t care whatever happens to the other side.

In both cases, anti-love destroys life.

Now what if?

What if we live by the principle of non-coercive, self-giving love?

Oh, we thrive.

We don’t just survive.

We thrive.

We don’t have to compete for resources; instead, we collaborate.

We cooperate.

We thrive together.

We become a community.

And that’s where diversity comes in.

And it becomes helpful.

We now understand that each person has a role to fill.

A particular value to bring to the table.

We now realize how much of a rubbish it actually is to regard some roles as more dignified than others.

We are all equal.

Oops –

That’s really hard to swallow sometimes.

Especially if for years we’ve had our heads wrapped around this paradigm.

This paradigm that only a few win, while all the others lose.


It’s deeply rooted.

It’s like the very paradigm we woke up to.

The very motif of life, we assumed.

But what if?

What if the other side is so much more peaceful?

What if we let people be?

Let them discover life?

Not force our way to them?

Maybe they needed to experience and realize things in their own time.

It’s like this.

Maybe not all kids are drawn to books.

Maybe some love the thrill of taking a box full of legos.

And building something out of it.

Something. Doesn’t have to be great.

Just something.

Maybe that’s the beauty of freedom.

Maybe that’s how truth actually comes out.

Maybe that’s how love really, actually operates.

Maybe the greatest and most controversial experiment is all worth it

After all.

What's your one key takeaway from this post?

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