Knowing how to love also means knowing when to back off. Nobody wants to be lectured or be brow-beaten. Say your peace. Offer to help. Advise that you will always be there if/when he is ready. Sometimes, that is the best you can do.
I remember many times that I was loved by my brothers. About 6 years ago, my wife had surgery to remove cancer. In advance, the doctors said it was caught early, would likely be easy to remove completely. At the end of the surgery, the doctor stunned me: he said it was terminal. In the years that followed, my wife beat the odds. At the time, I felt overwhelmed.
My daughter was in college in Illinois. The one-way drive was about 8 hours. I called my best friend and explained that we needed my daughter at home and asked for ideas. He said: "Consider it done." He and one of my other good friends were on the road in less than an hour, delivering my daughter to our home the next morning.
THAT my brothers, is love.
Love is listening attentively when you would rather be talking.
Love is sharing what you know, i.e. teaching, a fellow cop without bragging that you are better and making him feel inferior. I have been given help of immeasurable value on the range and in DT training. In return, I give help in areas of fitness and the use of technology.
Love is sharing a burden. Love means being there when one of your brothers needs you. Love is providing a shoulder, two ears and support when you may be all that they have.
Love is the action that comes from loyalty. Love is the decision that puts the needs and feelings of someone else ahead of your own.
If you want to be loved, you must first love others.
As I was writing this piece today, the tragic news came by email: Four cops were gunned down in Parkland, WA. They were in a coffee shop. They were using their computers, reportedly to catch up on paperwork.
Love is the gut-wrenching ache that pours over your entire being when you learn of the horrific loss of one of our own. Four of them being slaughtered simultaneously is beyond comprehension. Love is the yearning, burning desire to do something to make the situation better. We cops FIX things. That is our job. But, we cannot fix this.
Loyalty is a promise. It is a commitment. It is a state of mind. It represents what we aspire to be in times that are both good and bad.
Love is how we act on our loyalty. Love is a decision. Love requires action to be complete.
We are now in the holiday season for 2009. It is a time when much of the world is engaged with a spirit of good will.
This might be a good time to reflect on where you are, on loyalty and love. Is it your intention to be loyal? Are your actions of love supporting your intent?
If not, this may be a good time to reassess. There is much good about you. While we live in a world of snakes (both on the street and in the station); they cannot and will not overcome Loyalty and Love if you are resolute enough.
Peace be with you through the holidays. Merry Christmas and a safe and happy New Year.