Sa’di: Loving the Universe

به جهان خرم از آنم که همه خرم از اوست      عاشقم بر همه عالم که همه عالم از اوست


Some years ago, when I visited Sa’di’s tomb in Shiraz, I noticed this verse (part of a longer poem) on one of the walls. I was deeply moved by it, and I couldn’t figure out why. It has stayed in my memory all these years.

Last month, I was watching a movie about a very successful, unhappy business woman who decided to leave the world behind and live in a convent. There she had to give up many things she was used to including power, money, recognition, alcohol, cigarettes, etc. But she found that the most difficult thing was ‘to love everyone the same’. It was a huge hurdle, but at the end she achieved it, and with that, she gained peace and contentment.

There was a nun there that made her life miserable, and she disliked her. Toward the end of the movie, she ended up nursing the same nun who had made all sorts of problems for her. And she did it with love. The ill woman didn’t believe her love and demanded her to stop pretending. The answer was that the love she felt was true.
I was very moved by this movie. Is it possible to love everyone? The answer in the movie was yes, if we consider the alternative, that is all the resentment, violence, and bitterness around us. Where does all this hate in the world come from? What is it that we hate so much? I read the blogs and go through comments; sometimes I am overwhelmed by so much spite in some of them. It is almost as if some people are ready to hate, to attack, to be in rage with others who happened to think/choose in a different way. Can we change our views/ways?

Sa’di said it over 800 years ago: his fate in God leads his fate in all that God has created. At least that is one interpretation. Or is it Love itself that makes him content with the whole universe?  

I know I am far from loving everyone. I don’t know if I ever be there, but I do try not to hate or dislike others. Especially those who do not share my views, disagree with me, or even hurt me. That does not change anything regarding my personal and social responsibilities: I agree and disagree with many decisions, actions, policies, etc. but I try to carry on doing what I believe in, without hating those who choose to do other than what I want or believe in. At this point, it is just constant trying, but who knows? Perhaps I will be there some day!    


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