Monday, July 2

Love as a Verb

Someone reading this may be thinking, "What's love got to do with leadership?" Love has everything to do with leadership. Without love, leadership is nothing!

In the English language, we generally associate love with a feeling, and usually positive feelings. And, in the English language, there is only one word to encompass that feeling: the word LOVE. Unlike in the Greek language, there are different words to explain the different types of love.

What do we mean when we say love as a verb? A verb is an action word. So love is an action word. Love is something we do, not merely a feeling. When we take the action to love, then the feeling will come.

The Greek language has different words for the different types of love. There is eros: a love which seeks fulfillment or satisfaction in the person or thing that is loved. There is also philia: a love of friendship or companionship.

The Christian Scriptures speaks of a love called agapĂ©: a love which seeks nothing from the person or thing that is loved – the lover wants nothing in return; not even appreciation. The love is totally other-directed; pure gift of the self to the other.

One of the early Church Father, Saint Thomas Aquinas said that “love is the effective willing of the good of the other.” Love is not an emotion, it is not a feeling – love is a choice, it is an act of the will; it is something that we do. Love is not something that happens to us, it is something that we do; it is a choice that we make.

What are we choosing? We are choosing the good of the other. Not our good, first and foremost, but the good of the other. The love is centered on the person or thing that is loved. What is the best for the other? Not simply benevolence – but wanting the best for the other and acting to make that real for them. Love is choosing to do the best for the other person and then acting in accord with that choice.

To lead is to serve,
Coach Carolyn

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