Loving people is a stupid idea

Love is dumb.

There. I’ve said it. Surely we have better things to do, like look after ourselves and our own. Makes me kind of wish we were like cats, or lions or something, you know: had babies, grew them up, killed animals, ate them, made babies, moved on, died. You don’t see cats getting all emotional because they wanted to share their kibble with the neighbour’s cat and the neighbour’s cat said no. You don’t see cats caring about much at all, actually.

Some people are like that. We can all, if the truth be told, be like that. We’re all selfish, demanding creatures who love salty food and warm beds and someone who shares the couch and lets us do our own things. It’s considered normal, and considered The Way Things Are.

That’s the way it was for me, really. Until some crazy lady did a Rachel Stewart number on me, and helped me when I’d fallen over in the middle of the race.

Rachel Who?

I don’t know if Rachel Stewart remembers the grade five athletics carnival. I don’t know if the friend she stopped for just before the end of the 100m sprint to help back to her feet again remembers the grade five athletics carnival either, but I do know that those two women, nearly thirty years later, are still friends. She stopped. Rachel Stewart was our fastest runner, and she stopped before the end to help her friend that was down. That’s love. That’s when you know that Rachel Stewart knew what meant more than some poxy ribbon on a pin.
That’s what love is.

She didn’t need to. Nobody needs to do a Rachel. In fact, Rachel Stewart didn’t need to do a Rachel, and when she did it it was Dumb dumb de dumb dumb, and she lost the race.

And once upon a time that crazy woman who did a Rachel on me knew what it meant as well. I drove her crazy. A few times. I probably put her through hell and back a few times as well, and I even did the famous SDCU* on her and decided that I’d stuffed things up so badly I could never ever love anybody again.

We do that. We all do that. We turn to our Rachel Stewarts and give them the finger and then we beat them in the next race and not think about it till it’s too late and we can only hope to God they might forgive us, and then we swear we’re never ever going to race again, poxy ribbon or no.

Tell you what, I’m glad that once upon a time God did a Rachel Stewart number on me. He did all right. And that’s the only reason I’m back lining up for the race at the moment.I’m back there on the old New Norfolk oval staring down the white lines on the grass and eyeing off the sports teacher holding the ribbon, and just a bit worried that that starter gun is a real one.

I’m going to run.
I’m looking at the people who are racing with me. None of us are that great, or that pretty, or that cool any more. And none of us are ever going to make the Olympics.
but together we’re running this race we call life, and this time I know, because I will always remember the ones who stopped for me, that no matter which one of us falls, I’M gonna be the one this time to stop and do a Rachel.

Care to join me?

*Super-dooper cock-up. See the last blog post.

270 thoughts on “Loving people is a stupid idea

  1. I especially have a hard time remembering the “Rachel moments” after I have been hurt by someone. It is amazing how one mean spirited act can bring up our wall so it is difficult for us to recognize and allow our “Rachels” to give us a hand.
    Thank you for your very sensitive and excellent writing.

  2. What is Love? Ultimately it seems infinitely broad, is shared and perceived on as many levels.

    Love really only implies connection, a certain appreciation for it.

    What love actually is, depends on each an every single one of us.

    Be it the love we have for this life, for others, or ourselves, it is what me make of it that matters. Individually or together.

    I’m sure love can be dumb. But it is far from being limited to just that.

    Yes we’re all certainly selfish, along with many perhaps less desirable things. And we should certainly be aware of it, accepting the true nature of things without a large fuss.

    But if we choose to place much of are focus on these traits, our minds will be trapped in them, and we will more and more become them.

    We are what we think after all.

    Love is a wonderful things, especially when it leads to acceptance and greater understanding.

  3. And thinking to myself… what else IS there to do BUT race? Loving is a sometimes futile notion, especially when the cat is a bastard, but it’s also a fantastic one… it just doesn’t make sense! Glad you’re continuing your journey…

  4. How we love or don’t love can be dumb for sure. I’m a “Rachel” but seems far too often I don’t have a Rachel of my own, so I have to be a “Rachel” to everyone else and to me too. That gets exhausting. Too much take, not enough give. I’m working on finding more balance in my life, so I can take enough care of me to be there for others too even if they aren’t there for me. Congrats on the FP. Great post. All the best w/ your running! :O)

  5. This is so thought provoking and really relevant to the sermon my husband is writing at the moment. I can’t wait to read it to him. Thanks!

  6. A very heart searching post. It dug right into me. As I embark on my journey of expression this is the type of material I’d like to guide some of my own posts. Thank you

  7. Quite an emotional sentiment. While I do not dismiss your inspirational grandstanding, I wonder if there might be something to which your time might be better suited? I believe the neurosis of love which you so admirably demonstrate might be slightly overblown. But such things are contemporary.

  8. We see and read what love is, and we learned from the media and society what love should be, but true love is so different. Good post I have like five Rachel’s in my life, and that is all I need.

  9. Nice post. Remember the movie about paying it forward? Your post made me think of this. I’ve had some Rachels and hopefully been a Rachel to someone else. You are right that love is hard. Very hard. But well worth the effort. Keep on blogging! :-}

  10. Beautiful!!… There are very few ppl out there with that calibre… but i think while we say this we only justify our own selfishness… Really, whats some ribbon gna do to us anyway, the real thing is those pp who manage do smth for us, live with us forever.. no matter how much we try we cant erase them…. just their memory brings a smile to our face…. i hope we all can cultivate habits of helping others and loving them, in us!!

  11. This was wonderful. Thank you for sharing this with the rest of us. I will be keeping an eye on your posts from now on. (:

  12. I was about to add my next post when I decided to check out the freshest blogs; something I never do, by the way, but I’m glad I did. Thank you for sharing your heart. Now I’ll add my new post; an appropriate one, I believe.

  13. All around great post. Great appeal to imageric symbols to convey so sweet a message about God, love, and life. I think this reveals a little some about “love” simpliciter that seems to be undeniable.

  14. It’s funny that we equate “stupid” with “inefficient,” and “inefficient” with “losing the race” (so to speak). What Rachel showed is the greatest intelligence of all – Emotional Intelligence. 🙂 Great read. Just what I needed to hear!

    • You’re so right – I was ten years old and it was the biggest lesson of my life at that time. Sadly so many adults still haven’t got it. Thanks for reading.

      • No, that’s great, it’s Rachel’s story (well…no…it’s my story about Rachel. But you know what I mean!) I’ve been blessed to be able to share it with people, Thanks for reading. I love hearing when my words have been what people need for right now, that blesses me so much. All the best.

  15. Self-awareness is an urgent issue. So far it has been kept by monks, philosophers & co. Spirit in terms of the universe within ourselves and thus, LOVE as celebration of “being existent” can bring us closer to what we are made of. Then we no longer will see love in ways of shape that emphasize a difference. Yes, we can change that – if we open up our hearts, and so we are no longer anonymous and strangers to ourselves. This way we will find that love is everywhere and we are the ones to find it by finding ourselves as echo of pure love.

    • I think about those verses pretty much every day, especially thinking about my interactions with my kids. It is hard hard hard! And good. I’m so glad those words are there, because they just spell out what we’re meant to be doing. God is so good like that.

  16. Love is dumb, painful and costly. It hurts all people, yet why do people travel to the ends of the earth trying to have even a glimpse or taste of it? Doesn’t that make you curious? Of course, it does. I mean, don’t you want to find out what makes the world crazy?

    P.S. Nicely written work. Keep up the great work.

  17. Love keeps us going. I think its the reason why most of us wake up in the morning and live, because you know someone thinks of you. I t doesn’t have to be the opposite sex or a romantic relationship but waking up and knowing that my mom, or dad love me unconditionally. Love is NOT dumb!!!

  18. We choose to love. It is a self-less act in a selfish world. Good for you, goodness is contagious, if you do a Rachel for someone they are bound to pass it on at some point. It’ll make the world a better place!

  19. Pingback: Mile 6: Why finding what you’re born to do is sooo elusive | Journey of Champions

  20. I am glad that I stopped at your blog – I was reading something (in Serbian) about good actions and was in the right mood for your text – best regards to you and Rachel. I try also to do Rachel 🙂

  21. I love this post so much!!
    It is exactly what i needed to read espcially today.
    Just because other people are focused on winning a meaningless ribbon doesnt mean it should matter to me.

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