Self-love (Kawai)

by Yoshikazu Fukaya

The ability to love is truly wonderful. There are many people who would probably agree that life is bright and cheerful because of love. However, we must recognize that the single word "love" refers to its many expressions and forms that come from the human mind.

God the Parent warns us against the use of the mind called "self-love," which refers to a love that is biased and self-centered. "Self-love" can be seen in a person that is full of love for only him or herself, who pushes others aside to do what he or she wants to. It refers to a selfish mind that wants good things for oneself and feels all is well if the present is well for oneself alone.

Further, parents who neglect to correct their children when they do something wrong, allow their children to do things as they please, or bring their children up without the proper education and discipline while thinking to themselves, "Look how much love I give to my child!" are in the process of making a big mistake. Parents such as these are simply blinded by their love for their children. Blind love robs children of their ability to live life with sincerity and confidence, occasionally driving them to hurt others or harm society by turning to delinquency or suicidal self-despair.

The tragedy of overbearing parents who push their children too hard in getting a good education is a common sight in society today. One can say the biased dust of "self-love" is acting in the minds of these overbearing parents who give no thought to the abilities or roles of their children. Rather, it may be more correct to say that such parents are simply full of love for themselves, living out their own hopes, deepening their own joy, showing off and impressing others through their children. It goes without saying that parents should be on their guard against blind love. They should also take care not to get caught up in their selfish hopes and pride, They should instead raise their children with a deeper parental love that wishes for their children to grow up to become wonderful human beings with well-rounded personalities.

Also, one occasionally sees people who, while enjoying a happy family life, show little consideration for others. For example, they might push others to the side on buses or trains and find self-satisfaction that they found good seats for their families and friends. One can say that such people are harboring the dust of "self-love." In the Besseki lecture, we are told, "We love ourselves and our children, but we should love others and their children as well."

The dust of "self-love" is not limited to oneself or to one's family. It is my hope that everyone will completely sweep away the dust of "self-love" that also leads them to give priority to their own companies, ethnicities, nations, and ideologies so that we can build a world of joy where everyone helps one another as children of God the Parent.