Thursday, October 09, 2014

Power and Love

We cannot avoid
Using power,
Cannot escape the compulsion
To afflict the world,
So let us, cautious in diction
And mighty in contradiction,
Love powerfully.

Martin Buber

"Power and Love" (1926)


Change reflects the contradiction of living. As if to prove the point, the beautiful face of autumn will quickly fade into a deathlike slumber. The trees now ablaze with vibrant colors will soon retreat, and the branches will rattle like bones in the freezing wind. Every season reveals a different face to the world. One moment we feel the warm embrace of a summer afternoon, but on the opposite side of the sun, the air is a knife cutting at our skin.   

It is only natural to feel preference for one season over another, but every face of nature holds some beauty. Within the contradiction of existence, life yields to death, and death produces life. Likewise, faith may yield to doubt, while uncertainty allows genuine faith. 

As Buber suggested, if we must endure the contradiction of living - where joy and sorrow walk hand in hand - then let us love powerfully. Let us love the trees, and all of nature, simply for the gift of being. And let us love one another, even amid our differences and afflictions.


Smith, M. K. (2009). Martin Buber on education. Retrieved from The Encyclopedia of Informal Education:

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