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The neglected universal force for peace and stability: LOVE?

Leszek J. Sibilski's picture
2016 Summer Session students, Montgomery College

“Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love.” – Albert Einstein
 
When I present lectures on sociological theories, I often see in my students’ bored facial expressions indicating a total lack of interest in the subject. But, when I move the lecture to issues related to education, social class, or global stratification, I can see a few faces turning into a full attention mode, but still not all the students are with me. However, there is one topic that will cause the entire class to lay down their e-devices and start to listen to every word: that is the topic of LOVE. Love strikes me as a neglected force that, once released, could bring about international stability and boost economic development.
 
Love emerges in my lectures for its role in interpersonal relations in socialization and development. I begin my lecture with a discussion about the role of family in social development and then move towards marriage and, more broadly, love. The topic family frequently triggers strong emotional reactions among students. As classroom discussions reveal many have experienced some family difficulty or problems. And then comes the topic of love: each time when I talk about love, I can see melting facial expressions in each of my students. The purpose of the lecture is not only focused on romantic teenage love based on hormones and erotic attraction. In the Bible, in the Gospel of John, Chapter 15:13 “The Greatest Social Worker Ever” says, “Greater love has no one than this – that someone lay down his life for his friends.” I always substantiate this quote with a compelling story about the Polish Franciscan Maximilian Kolbe who volunteered to die by starvation in place of a stranger in the Nazis’ death camp of Auschwitz. Pope John Paul II declared him "The Patron Saint of Our Difficult Century." All of sudden, gender, complexion or ethnicity no longer matter. Neither does religion, age or sexual orientation. When I see students’ reaction to my lecture on love in everyday life, I get chills down my spine and goose bumps all over my body.
 
Watching the reactions of my students, I have become deeply convinced that love is not only a universal force for good, but one that also brings to the human heart hope and peace for a better tomorrow. When humans are in love, they can selflessly endure more- since love, like ray of hope, stimulates them to persevere. Hopefulness too, encourages us to explore, build, innovate and thrive, but it all starts with love. 
 
Recently, while surfing the Internet I came across a very interesting blog with very uplifting excerpts from one of Albert Einstein's letters to his first daughter, Lieserl, on love as a universal force. My initial reaction was enthusiastic. Finally, (I thought) I won’t be alone anymore when talking about love to my students, but on second thought I knew that I needed to thoroughly verify the authenticity of this letter, as the value of the content was priceless. Here are some excerpts:

Albert Einstein"… When I proposed the theory of relativity, very few understood me, and what I will reveal now to transmit to mankind will also collide with the misunderstanding and prejudice in the world.
I ask you to guard the letters as long as necessary, years, decades, until society is advanced enough to accept what I will explain below.
There is an extremely powerful force that, so far, science has not found a formal explanation to. It is a force that includes and governs all others, and is even behind any phenomenon operating in the universe and has not yet been identified by us.
This universal force is LOVE.
When scientists looked for a unified theory of the universe they forgot the most powerful unseen force.
Love is Light that enlightens those who give and receive it.
Love is gravity, because it makes some people feel attracted to others.
Love is power, because it multiplies the best we have, and allows humanity not to be extinguished in their blind selfishness. Love unfolds and reveals.
For love we live and die.
Love is God and God is Love.
This force explains everything and gives meaning to life. This is the variable that we have ignored for too long, maybe because we are afraid of love because it is the only energy in the universe that man has not learned to drive at will.
To give visibility to love, I made a simple substitution in my most famous equation.
If instead of E = mc2, we accept that the energy to heal the world can be obtained through love multiplied by the speed of light squared, we arrive at the conclusion that love is the most powerful force there is, because it has no limits.
After the failure of humanity in the use and control of the other forces of the universe that have turned against us, it is urgent that we nourish ourselves with another kind of energy…
If we want our species to survive, if we are to find meaning in life, if we want to save the world and every sentient being that inhabits it, love is the one and only answer.
Perhaps we are not yet ready to make a bomb of love, a device powerful enough to entirely destroy the hate, selfishness and greed that devastate the planet.
However, each individual carries within them a small but powerful generator of love whose energy is waiting to be released.
When we learn to give and receive this universal energy, dear Lieserl, we will have affirmed that love conquers all, is able to transcend everything and anything, because love is the quintessence of life.
I deeply regret not having been able to express what is in my heart, which has quietly beaten for you all my life. Maybe it’s too late to apologize, but as time is relative, I need to tell you that I love you and thanks to you I have reached the ultimate answer! …" 
 
Unfortunately, after digging deeper on the Internet my “googling” results revealed that the physicist did not write the letter, but an anonymous person did who still remains unknown. Before launching a full-fledged investigation, I read several on-line comments strongly indicating that humankind desperately pursues signs of affirmation related to love. Einstein's letter was skillfully and thoughtfully drafted to serve the purpose for all who crave this powerful virtue. I must admit, I found the fact that Einstein was not the author to be very disappointing. Unquestionably, my classroom arguments on love would come across more convincingly. Nevertheless, I have found one consolation providing evidence that I was not alone in my examination of Einstein’s alleged ‘love’ letter. In fact, many people sought to dig up the truth about Einstein's letter on ‘love’ as universal force.
 
One expert put the speculation to rest. Diana Kormos-Buchwald, a professor of physics and the history of science at the California Institute of Technology and a director and editor of the Einstein Papers Project authoritatively stated: "This document is not by Einstein. The family letters donated to the Hebrew University - referred to in this rumor - were not given by Lieserl. They were given by Margot Einstein, who was Albert Einstein's stepdaughter. Many of those letters were published in Volume 10 of The Collected Papers of Albert Einstein in 2006 and in subsequent volumes, in chronological order." But later she added: “What I hope people take away is that Einstein was never the isolated scientist in the attic with a pen and paper, that image that seems to persist. He had a huge network of friends, colleagues and collaborators. What I’m impressed with most is how hard working he is. Inspiration is a very small component. He works very hard all day and every day.” In a TIME Magazine article we learn more about Einstein’s lost first child, Lieserl. The truth is unclear if not tragic, but is it up to us, commoners, to judge Einstein’s life moreover his genies?
 
 

2016 Spring Session students, Montgomery College

Sadly, I still wish Einstein or someone of his prominence had written this letter. We all need heartwarming gestures and stories, especially younger generations, but not exclusively! The emptiness and disillusionment reminds me of the day of Pope John Paul II's death on April 2, 2005, where the youth were not only grieving the departure of the Roman-Catholic Church leader, but also the passing of an untainted and trustworthy shepherd. As humans we crave true and unconditional love and the opportunity to love someone in return. The Prophet Muhammad humbly conveys to his followers: “None of you will believe until you love for your brother what you love for yourself.” According to Islam love is one of the greatest blessings Allah has bestowed on humanity. Allah has created human nature in such a way that a person will take pleasure from loving and being loved, from friendship and from intimacy.
 
Undoubtedly, the disputed Einstein letter should have a thought provoking effect on many, including those whose passion and life’s calling is the eradication of poverty. Isn’t development about giving and receiving? For those who work for global peace and social justice, love could have a soothing and contagious effect for oppressors and victims simultaneously. Mother Teresa once noticed: We can cure physical diseases with medicine, but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread, but there are many more dying for a little love.”
 
One might wonder, where my fascination with this fabricated Einstein’s letter comes from. Call me naïve, but as someone who was born on April Fool’s Day, I have always been attracted to and intrigued by such sensations, and feel obliged to give the benefit of the doubt before facing the final uncertainty.
 
By sharing this letter with friends, colleagues, students, and loyal readers, I anticipate that we will be able to ignite a debate about love in the humdrum of daily life that is sometimes felt at the end of the honeymoon. I hope that we will learn how to incubate the most formidable, but also most fragile of unseen universal forces that distinguish us from other inhabitants of Earth. I wonder what the stats of mainstream media coverage are on Kardashian’s love life versus the coverage of the loving acts of ordinary people who struggle to keep their families together in developing countries. One of the greatest members of Einstein’s social circle was philosopher, medical missionary, and Nobel Prize winner Albert Schweitzer who very firmly expressed his admiration for love by saying: “We all know how important love is, yet how often is it really emoted or exhibited? What so many sick people in this world suffer from-loneliness, boredom and fear-can't be cured with a pill.”
 
But are we ready and mature enough to accept the call for love as a universal force? Perhaps 2016 is the year that love should be applied as an existential balm for our aching if not bleeding world? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said to those who opposed him: “I love you. I would rather die than hate you.” He was also one of those fascinated with the power of love and stated that: “Love is the only creative, redemptive transforming power in the universe.”   In his last magnificent sermon: The Drum Major Instinct, which at the request of his widow, was played at his funeral, he asked that it be mentioned in his eulogy: … that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to give his life serving others. … that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to love somebody.”
 
Wishing all to be loved and to know the joy of sharing selfless love with another in the upcoming year! “LOVE IS THE ONLY WAY.”
 
 
P.S. On October 5, 1962, the “Fab Four” from Liverpool launched their journey of international stardom and fame by releasing the first single “Love Me Do”. Maybe this is a hint from the Beatles to all of us to start everything what we do in our lives with passion and love? We should ask Sir Paul McCartney or Ringo Star about their views on the universal power of love before it is not too late to avoid confusion as it was with Albert Einstein.

The Beatles: Love Me Do - 50th Anniversary - BBC News




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Photograph of Albert Einstein by Orren Jack Turner via Wikimedia Commons
 
 

Comments

Submitted by Natalie Slud on

Love is universal and is the most powerful force human beings carry within us. Not only is all of that true in my perspective, but I believe that we are born with that force in us and that it grows with us. Furthermore, love effects us in many ways; without love we will feel lonely and depressed which effects how we function on a daily basis. With love, one feels invincible and infintely happy. Either way, it effects how we function and present ourselves daily. Albert Schweitzer's quote really got to me: “We all know how important love is, yet how often is it really emoted or exhibited? What so many sick people in this world suffer from-loneliness, boredom and fear-can't be cured with a pill." On another note, it definitely would have been fantastic if the letter above truly was by Albert Einstein. The letter really touched me and opened my mind to many different ideas on the subject of love. Thank you for sharing; this post was enlightening.

Submitted by Nic McDonald on

I completely agree with you. Love is a very powerful and unvierisal force. I found it very interesting that you believe that we are born with the force in us and grows in us. In addition, I like how you talk about the Arthur Schweitzer quote had an effect on you.

Submitted by Townshend Marbell on

One teacher said to his students that all people were created equal regardless of race. Race has brought inequality and hate to our society which some people thinks they are more superior than the others. Wilson

Submitted by Townshend Marbell on

The police force protects our environment because of crimes and unwanted behavior among its citizens. They appreciate and love what they are doing. Sherwin

Submitted by Townshend Marbell on

Love makes us feel that we belong to a certain part of the world. Nick

Submitted by Townshend Marbell on

Why do people hate those who have the ability to speak the truth, being silent your rights will be taken away from you. Murray

Submitted by Townshend Marbell on

People intend to hate certain religious practices because they do not lbs long or like it. Russell

Submitted by Nahom Michael on

This is very intriguing, I agree completely with this. I like how Albert Einstein was incorporated into this.

Submitted by Mikayla on

This made me feel like love is everything, in everything and for everything! When you read this blog you see your inner self and can see how long is in everything you do. You remember your first love and think wow i felt that this, or your ex and say wow i felt like this for that person i put my most precious part of emotion and life basically out there, but most importantly when you read it you say LOVE! Love can fix anything like Mother Theresa said, Love can make you lay down and die for your friend like Martin Luther King JR said.. So this article opened my eyes to how beautiful love is!

Submitted by Robert Powell on

U agree with the article, that Love is a very strong emotion and that love effects everyone differently and makes people do good and sometimes crazy things that they normally would not do.

#Love is Love

Submitted by Townshend Marbell on

Doctors dedicate themselves to their job to save lives because of love.T.J

Submitted by Emma Nounke on

Do they ? It is kind of their duty to serve their patients as they are trained and paid for it. I actually feel like it's the opposite, that doctors have with time numbed themselves emotionally to better do their job and not let emotions come across.

Submitted by Michael Scott on

I totally agreed with you. When you really care for someone, you don't look for faults. You don't look for answers. You don't look for imperfections . Instead, you accept the imperfections, and you overlook faults. The value of love is how much you love and get loved in return.

Submitted by Townshend Marbell on

In our present society, when a white boy or man does something wrongly. He is given a lesser punishment or go scout free but when a black man commits the same crime, he is being treated harshly. Devon

Submitted by Townshend Marbell on

True love is a reflection of age. As people grow in a relationship they tend to love each other the more. They treated one another with respect. Julie

Submitted by Townshend Marbell on

The gender inequality at our work places brings about the challenges facing the world today. It is time to bridge the salary gap between women and men since they both put in the same effort.

Submitted by Bahram Riazi on

I agree

Submitted by Vanessa Ramirez on

I totally agree, when you love someone none of that really matters because you have accepted for who they are as a person and you don't care about their flaws. Being loved by someone is the best thing anyone can have, it can be from their partner, friend, family member, almost anyone; you feel important and valued by that person.

Submitted by Cedric Johnson on

I do think think we really dont understand the word love. The word love is an overly used word to substitute a unexplained feeling. We can just care about someone, or just be infatuated with someone or something and we will say we love it or them when we really don't. We just like what we see. In my thoughts with most things in life, we just like something alot.

Submitted by Townshend Marbell on

Christians and Muslims should not allow their religion to overcome love in a marriage. Since the two parties who are in love have the same feelings for one another.

Submitted by Townshend Marbell on

In certain societies, women are not fairly treated. They take majority of the household work and the miniature jobs, yet they are not being recognized. Aaron

Submitted by Townshend Marbell on

In today's world, many people are living longer. Our society tend to dismiss the aging population. When you grow old, your movements becomes so slow and your hearing will not be as good as before but your heart remains forever. Joseph

Submitted by Townshend Marbell on

The role of women in our 21th century is on the rise. Women are competing with men in every aspects of life. Marlone

Submitted by Townshend Marbell on

We should not allow our society to judge us by who we are. Let us not forget we are all God's loving children. We should not forget that marriage has been redefine

Submitted by WhiteShoes on

Love is definitely a word people over use and most people who have exprienced it through either tragedy or success such as the birth of a your son or daugther or the lose of a someone who had a major impact on your life.

Submitted by Townshend Marbell on

A visit to the nursing home let me realize how love is universal, true, universal with no boundaries and exist forever. Two old couples living in an apartment in the nursing facility appreciate each other so much that, they do everything common.Share their views and opinions as well. Joel

Submitted by Townshend Marbell on

Firefighters puts in so much effort in their job because of love no matter the circumstance and how risky the situation is. Henry

Submitted by Townshend Marbell on

Love is a beautiful thing so we must love one another. Image yourself in a hospital and about to die, A team of nurses and Doctors have surrounded you making their possible best to survive you. At a point in time you almost gave up life but they were able to sustained you.How thankful are these people with the wonderful work being done. Jennifer

Submitted by Aubrey Lewis on

I too believe that we are born with the ability to love and that it only grows within us. No one is born knowing how to hate or falsely judge. Those traits are taught and passed down. We see how powerful the force of love can be. It can transcend and divider. I have friends of almost ever background different then me that I consider as close as blood. If love wasn't such a powerful thing those friendships could not be maintained.

Submitted by R. Andrew Lambert, High school Counselor on

Perhaps then in this current time we find ourselves in, these discussions are fitting. I have only this to add: "..... Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that."

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Submitted by Bahram Riazi on

Love is something that we learn after birth and in my understanding we do not come with love to this world.

Submitted by Alicia on

I disagree. I think we are born with the capability to love. A newborn knows who their mother or father is and feels more comfortable with them than a stranger because of the love shared between them. On the other hand we do learn to hate.

Submitted by Nicolás on

I think love is the most important thing on the world cause it's the thing that make feel us alive and the thing for wednesday do some things.

Submitted by Lanre Rotimi on

Interesting. Does it matter if the Letter was actually written by Einstein or not? Should the Letter's Content and Potency; if applied with seriousness and sincerity by Political Leaders and Followers from Village to Global Levels in both Private / Family life and Public / Society life not be of more importance to any reader, today?

Can the author please get in touch on twitter handle @LanreRotimi2

Can we imagine the potential benefits of including Love Solutions in Sustainable Solutions to revised AAAA, SDG, COP21 Outcome, Agenda 21 etc in 2016 and beyond?

International Society for Poverty Elimination
Economic Alliance Group
NEHAP

Submitted by Olavi T. on

I think it does matter. If prominant historical figures talk about love, it encourages the masses to participate in the conversation. The message is relevant, no matter the source; but it would help to have such words coming from the mouths of the influential individuals of today and yesterday.

Submitted by Amir Allahbedashti on

I believe it does matter if the author is Einstein or not. Because, none of his theories has been proven wrong until this day. For example, the Relativity Theory, which no one believed when he was alive; or that light is the fastest thing in the universe and not only has a wavy characteristic, but also has an particle character and carries small “boxes” of Energy.
Therefore, if the letter was really written by Einstein, it would be really likely for mankind to come up with a formula for love and manufacture it to prevent the problems facing humanity.

Submitted by Townshend Marbell on

Gender brings about hate, talk about discrimination and practices that do not give equal rights to all. It also suppress women' rights. Adriana

Submitted by ghislaine on

I must say that this article is inspiring. I truly enjoyed reading this article from the very first paragraph to the last word.I was actually hoping to read more! The more I read, the more I wanted to know about the article.
I do believe that love has a universal power to heal the society. Regardless of the type of love,love is essential for socialization and development.We are currently living in a world where love has little meaning. In order to try to save the world in which we live, each of us has the power to make a change by simply loving others. The cure to the society problems starts by LOVE. Love is powerful, love is everything.This article is a MUST SHARE.Thank you Dr SIBILSKI.

Submitted by Megan Pavillar on

I agree that the cure is to love! If only people were more welcoming of love and eager to give love back instead of be afraid and detest it! I also agree that love is essential for socialization and development because love changes people and usually for the better! It builds strength within people that can be unbreakable. Thanks for sharing your thoughts! -Megan

Submitted by Townshend Marbell on

Society have to treat people of other ethnic group with respect with dignity and respect. They have to blend them among our societies than rather bring hate to them. We are all God loving children who created us in his own image. Edward

Submitted by Margaret Gurumani on

It seems we both had the same reaction to this article. The article kept my eyes glued on the screen to the last sentence. Love is essential for every human being. It doesn't matter who you are and where you come from, we as human being need to be loved and cared for by our families and friends. Love is a very powerful aspect which in many cases have proven to be the ultimate solution for all problems.

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