For the past two weeks, our professor (Aaron) has given us a love challenge. For the first week of the challenge, we were supposed to commit acts of love. He simply said we should use some of our time during the week to, “help those who need your help.” When we reconvened for class after the first week of the challenge, we shared our acts of love that we had committed throughout the week. Some were simple acts such as washing a roommate’s dishes or stopping to speak with a homeless man. Others were grand gestures, like giving bystanders who were carrying groceries through the snow a ride home.
For the second week, Aaron challenged us to give shout outs, via social media, to people who we witnessed sharing acts of love. We were to use the hash tag “#LoveInAction” to tag our events. Some of the ones I noticed were simple things from my roommates- Rachel took out the neighbor’s garbage, just because. Hayley picked up garbage out of the parking lot in front of our building and put it into the receptacle. What surprised me, however, were the emotions that I experienced from engaging in the love challenge. Seeing my roommates, classmates, and other random strangers engage in the love challenge made me more motivated to show love as well. Love is contagious. It’s like a good disease, one I wanted to catch, and I think I am infected.
After Aaron first challenged us, I thought to myself, “I am already a friendly person, I go out of my way to help others.” I felt like I wouldn’t have a story to share in class because I already do kind things for others. Ultimately, this resulted in my rather apathetic reaction to the challenge during the first week. What I realized over the past two weeks, however, was that I could be a kind person from time to time but that I could always be kinder. Hearing my classmates share their experiences and watching others sharing love made me realize that it’s not hard to share love and that I could easily incorporate more #LoveInAction into my life. I did things that I never thought I would do, such as offering someone who was walking in the rain a ride. I feel like maybe I was clouded with negative stigmas about helping others prior to the challenge- no, I shouldn’t give rides to hitchhikers. They are dangerous. No, I shouldn’t pick up trash I see laying around. That’s not my job. It is because of Aaron’s love challenge that I can now see that there is always a way to share more love.
Imagine: what would our world look like if we all shared love? We are all in this life together. So, I challenge YOU to share more love too!
“Remember – love wins, even if it sometimes doesn’t feel that way.”
— Aaron Noland