It is very difficult for most of us to understand to what extent our love can be expanded. Everybody has a few people with whom he can be friendly, with whom she can be tender, but the Lord tells us, “That’s not enough. If you want to become whole and never be separate again, you should have love and respect for everyone.”
Jesus said, “What is the special achievement in loving those who love you? Even selfish people are prepared to do that. Bless those that curse you.” I can see the twinkle in his eye as the gathering gasps. This is the daring of Jesus. Today we talk about revolution, but I think there has never been a greater revolutionary than Jesus the Christ. He tells us that by loving those who hate us, we can win our freedom, because we will no longer be dependent on how others act towards us. The person who practices this can reach the summit of human consciousness, for it is only by loving people who oppose us and learning to bear with them that we can heal ourselves and heal them too.
"Cousin Dupree" would no doubt disagree with Easwaran on this, insisting that it's further evidence of the man's foolishness. But I strongly suspect that Easwaran is right on the mark. This doesn't mean that I'll ever be able to love everyone, and I'm not going to wear myself out trying or beat myself up for failing. But I do see it as an ideal, and I believe that the older and wiser I get, the more closely I may be able to approximate it.