Kids often know the meaning of the word “love” better than we adults. A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds:    ‘What does love mean?’

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined.   See what you think:

~~~ ‘When my grandmother got arthritis , she couldn’t bend over and paint her toenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That’s love.’

~~~ ‘When someone loves you , the way they say your name is different.. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.’

~~~ ‘Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.’

~~~ ‘Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs.’

~~~ ‘Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.’

~~~ ‘Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him , to make sure the taste is OK.’

~~~ ‘Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing , you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss.’

~~~ ‘Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.’

~~~ ‘If you want to learn to love better , you should start with a friend who you hate , ‘

~~~ ‘Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt , then he wears it everyday.’

~~~ ‘Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.’

~~~ ‘During my piano recital , I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that .  I wasn’t scared anymore.’

~~~ ‘My mommy loves me more than anybody. You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.’

~~~ ‘Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.’

~~~ ‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford .’

~~~ ‘Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.’

~~~ ‘I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.’

~~~ ‘When you love somebody , your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.’ (what an image!)

~~~ ‘Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn’t think it’s gross.’

~~~ ‘You really shouldn’t say ‘I love you’ unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget.’

~~~ And the final one: The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbor was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry , the little boy went into the old gentleman’s yard, climbed onto his lap , and just sat there.

When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbor , the little boy said, ‘Nothing , I just helped him cry.’

Whether it’s from the mouths of babes or from the world’s great religions, the message of love is the same.  

The Universality of the Golden Rule in the World Religions

Christianity All things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye so to them; for this is the law and the prophets.
Matthew 7:1
Confucianism Do not do to others what you would not like yourself. Then there will be no resentment against you, either in the family or in the state.
Analects 12:2
Buddhism Hurt not others in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.
Udana-Varga 5,1
Hinduism This is the sum of duty; do naught onto others what you would not have them do unto you.
Mahabharata 5,1517
Islam No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.
Judaism What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellowman. This is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.
Talmud, Shabbat 3id
Taoism Regard your neighbor’s gain as your gain, and your neighbor’s loss as your own loss.
Tai Shang Kan Yin P’ien
Zoroastrianism That nature alone is good which refrains from doing another whatsoever is not good for itself.
Dadisten-I-dinik, 94,5

Adapted from “The Christopher Newsletter”

Heavenly Father , please bless all my friends in whatever it is that You know they may be needing this day! And may their life be full of Your peace , prosperity and power as he/she seeks to have a closer relationship with You. Amen .

Thanks to an anonymous e-mailer for these insights on love and the closing prayer.   God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God and God in him.