I have a friend who once lived in France. While there he spoke with a Jewish man, Aaron, who lived in Germany during World War Two. He spent years in a concentration camp, during which his wife was killed, his four children died, his parents were killed, and he witnessed the deaths of thousands of people around him. And yet my friend said that Aaron had an almost saintly glow of love about him.
Aaron said he was grateful for his experiences in the concentration camp, and my friend asked how this could be. Aaron said he was grateful because he discovered in himself a capacity to love people that otherwise he would never have known. Even more, he said that he was certain that if he could ask each of his dead family members, they would agree that their deaths were a sacrifice worth making in order for Aaron to learn to love, a gift he then passed on to his next family and to many others around him.
Most remarkably, Aaron said, “Love is greater than life.”
In our society we have such a fixation on prolonging life and improving physical health, while ignoring the REASON for life, which is to love and be happy. Let us learn the lesson of Aaron without having to pay the price that he did.