Wait!  I can hear your cynicism rising up from here. Love?  America? What are you smoking?  Have you looked outside? Been on social media lately?

But hold on….give me a sec before you post your “un-loving” comment….:)

Yes, my blog title is a play on the Subaru advertising slogan.

It’s interesting, I started thinking about that slogan the other day.  They have repeated it enough now, it is part of our subconscious.  Like many of us, I have gotten to the point that it is in the background, something I hear and don’t think about…..but I did think about it…..I wondered where it came from and why they used it.

I did a very small amount of online research to find out about it….maybe if I had done more, I would have gotten to the source of its creation….but instead, I gave up after encountering two types of online articles…..Subaru’s own websites talking about the various aspects of their love campaigns and the social good they are doing…the other, bloggers and social media posts essentially knocking the slogan for one reason or another.  It was discouraging to hear so many people ragging on love.  What’s wrong with love?

Essentially the complaints about Subaru and love related to it either being about advertising manipulation of our feelings  (essentially a corporation is trying to control what we feel?) or that when we buy a car, we should use facts and proper reasoning, not “feelings” and “emotions” (ugh!).  Of course, the judgments of the slogan really spoke more about the writers than any real truth about the slogan.  The bloggers and posters who were negative either don’t trust corporations and advertising….or they value rational thought so much they discount feelings.  I gave up on researching the source of the tag line.

However, as I thought about it….(and in doing so, realizing I was bringing my judgement such that whatever I say is really about me, yep, I get it)….what came up for me was the sense that the slogan meant that either what brought customers to the cars was their emotional love for the product….so it was the love by the customers who made the brand what it was…..or it was the love that was embedded into the product by the producers of the cars….that is, the car manufacturer cares so much about their product and what it gives to people, that they infuse it with a high degree of quality driven by the power of their own love.

Of course, it’s not really an either/or…..no doubt the slogan is designed to have you discuss it, realize that it is the love that both the customers and the producers bring to it that makes it what it is….in other words, there is this mindset and feeling by the people who are in relationship (either as producers or users) with this product that they essentially create some energetic essence around it that binds them to it and to each other….they become part of the interconnected family of this car brand.  Love becomes the glue that draws them together.  It is beyond reason, it is a feeling….and it becomes part of our identity.

This power of connecting ourselves with something or some others giving ourselves a greater sense of interconnectedness happens all the time.  Think about the power of sports to connect a city or country.  Think about how the organizations we join, be they secular or spiritual, can give us a greater feeling of being a part of something bigger and grander.  Think about the power of national identity and how it can bind us.  Call it a ‘sense of belonging’ or ‘patriotism’ or what ever you like….but deep down, if you are honest with yourself, you know that there is something in you that calls you to a sense of connectedness with others….either to your spouse, your family, your children….and your country.

What is this power that draws us to being connected?  I call it love.

Now, I get it that many of you have so linked “love” to “romance” in your minds, that it is hard for you to change your idea of what love is.  But for me, love is an evolutionary energy that is calling us back to our awareness of our unity.  I have written here on Conscious Bridge about that many times, here is one if you want to think more on that. (Or do a search on the website for “evolution and love”).  To deeply delve into that topic is beyond the scope of this article.

However, what I do want you to consider in this moment is the interplay of “love” and “America”.  Similarly to Subaru, the love surrounding America is created by the love of the users/consumers/citizens of the country….and the love of the country’s producers.  Who are the “producers”?  Well, yes, the founding fathers and the ideas they embedded in the country…..but the producers are more than that…..they are also anyone who has had a hand in the creation and evolution of this country since its inception.  Yes, that includes the elected leaders and representatives…but it also doubles back and includes the citizens as well.  In other words, all of us in our thoughts, words and deeds are both users and producers of this country.

You see, we all play a part in the creation of this great country.  As leaders and citizens expressing our opinions regarding the direction of the country……to the “users” of our great democracy/republic who bring to the relationship our expectations for what the country can and should be……we each feel in our hearts and know in our minds how great this country has been and can be.  We each feel a part of something greater and grander as we connect with our fellow citizens and that nebulous something that we feel as “America”.  Our call of love to connect with this essence of America expands our sense of what it feels to be human….in a sense, it transcends our “humanness” and touches us into something spiritual and divine.

That is why we care so much……Republicans and Democrats…..supporters of Donald Trump and those who oppose him……although we may differ on policies and political approaches, we can agree that in our hearts is the feeling of love for what our country stands for in our greatest and grandest vision of it….it may not always live up to this vision of what America can be, but that doesn’t negate the power of love to call us to bring out its greatness.

America is going though an interesting time.  These are certainly times that try our souls as we move through an experience of America not being what we feel and know it can be.  Yet, we as a country have gone through challenges before.

Way back in 1776, Thomas Paine wrote:

“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated”

These words are as appropriate today for our current challenges as they were back at the birth of our country.

Let us not shrink from the service of this country….let us stand by it now and in so doing express our greater sense of love for what America can be as we evolve this great nation into the future. Love truly is what makes America, America.

Love,

Mark Gilbert

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