You Shall Love Your Neighbor (Kierkegaard)

Some talk about love
As if it’s emitted by people.
Like radio waves.
You can tune into the station,
Or tune out.
It’s all a matter of taste.
Sometimes you just get bored of it.
 
Some talk about love
As if it’s a fishing hook,
Reaching out to grab a meal.
And we’re the fish.
Or sometimes, we’re the fisherman.
We might catch a good looking fish,
But once we examine it, we decide it’s too small,
Or it’s not the useful kind—the nutritious kind—
So we throw it back.
 
But love is not an emission or a trap.
 
Love is a baby’s smile.
Gentle.
It doesn’t care who’s on the other end.
It doesn’t exclude, reject, or revoke.
It is not conceited, or dirty, or misleading.
It is not jealous of another.
It doesn’t bore or become bored.
 
A baby’s smile bridges holes
Between strangers
Between the estranged.
It’s an action that only benefits.
It is an action that isn’t lessened by the response—
whether good or bad.
The baby’s smile—
love—
is what is it,
regardless.
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