Live in Love and Leave in Peace
Author: Ram Ramakrishnan
How would you define love? There are many different definitions, different types of love and numerous views. Defined by our author love is “an emotion of strong affection and intense personal attachment.” He elaborates on the definition by adding synonyms for love such as affection, devotion, fondness and infatuation. Take a heart that is empty and let’s begin filling each part of it with the many definitions and forms of love.
Imagine holding a huge heart filled with the meaning of love in your hands. Love means to share life together with someone you care for deeply or love deeply. You promise to build a life with that person working side by side, building your dreams and smile with the pride that you know all of your inner most dreams will come true. Like taking building blocks and creating a special structure with love as the foundation, family to strengthen it, closeness and caring to fill each room, warmth and affection to hold your love in place and laughter, pride and love. If three men were outside of your home: One named Love, one success and the last wealth which one would you invite into your home and why? Decide for yourself and then find out what one woman chose: as you read Love in chapter one.
Love and Life fills the pages of Chapter two as the author explains how love is what moves the world and plays a vital or important role in everyone’s lives. Asking the question of everyone and putting it out to you the reader: Why is love so essential and important to life? Answering in his inspirational way the author states: This is because love alone sustains life and gives life meaning. Love is like a breath of fresh air to the soul. Continuing in this chapter by explaining the many different places love comes from and the different stages: As you read the progression pages 8-9 reflect how each of these stages impacted or might still impact your own life. Chapters 3 and four focus on the Power of Love and How to Generate Love in your Life. Within chapter four the author relates several important ways to generate love in your life: Love Everyone, Live in the Present, Be in the Company of Loving People, Be Grateful, Smile, Forget and Forgive and many more ways that you will enlighten you. They are all powerful but the one that stand out is Help Others to Find Love in Life. Chapter Five focuses on God and Divine Love followed by Gods and Goddesses of Love in chapter 6. Every religion has their own view on love and chapter 7 defines and explains each one beginning with Christianity and followed by Islam, Hinduism and Judaism to site just a few.
Marriage is one of the most important times and memories in anyone’s life. Defining marriage as a ceremony, legal, civil, and religious, in which two people of the opposite sexes become united as husband and wife. He then shares that his marriage was arranged and his feelings towards his bride from the moment he set eyes on her beautiful face. For those that want some true insight into having a successful marriage the author states that to have a successful, good and happy marriage is to understand that marriage must be based on deep, intense reciprocal love, understanding, trust, patience and respect for each other. I have to totally agree with this definition. He continues by stating that a happy marriage fosters better romantic and parental relationships. The rest you need to read for yourself as the author lists the many factors that a successful marriage depends on within pages 48- 55. There are many different types of love that the author expands on within chapter 9, which is the longest chapter within this book. I will spotlight just a few: Paternal Love is one, effects of love on Children, Mother’s Love and a special poem that will bring tears to your eyes as it did mine. Father’s Love and his role, the way he should be treated with a special respect and finally Father’s Day. There of course is a brother, sisters and grandparent’s love but Teacher’s Love. Next he talks about Love and Old Age as it plays a major role in the lives of elderly people. One special thing that older people need and want in their lives if love, caring, understanding and compassion. My favorite time of day was spent with my grandparents. My grandmother was special. She took time each day to sit with me, talk about my day in school and tell me about hers. My grandfather and I had a special bond and once a day we’d sit and talk about values, school, and his hopes for my future and we’d share our special home baked bread.
Aging is a natural progression and brings changes in the lives of older people and they feel alone, depressed and often want to leave this world. They all need love in their daily lives and the author sites how each one of us can help: regular visits, remember holidays, remember birthdays, buy essential items, checkups: make sure they take care of themselves, changes and vacations. Each one is explained in detail. A special not or letter titled: Dear Children will allow you the reader inside the mind and heart of an elderly person crying out for help and love. The note is from a father to his children. Chapter 12 focuses on Aging Gracefully and lists the many guidelines to help all of us go through that process. Finally within this first part of the book on love the author concludes with Love and Peace, Love and Nature, Creation of a World of Love and Religion of Love. Chapter 15 starts with a poem by Saint Francis of Assisi that relates how he wants to become an instrument of your peace. The author continues by stating that there is: one thing in the world, which is very precious and priceless. It creates happiness, success, peace and harmony and it has the power to destroy hatred, jealousy, prejudice and violence. It cannot be purchased or bought with all the wealth in the world. The entire world is filled with it, and yet many people do not know how to find it. That precious and priceless thing is called: LOVE! As the chapter draws you in he explains that we need to Love Everyone, create a climate of peace, remove hatred, education is important, remove property and how, the role of religion and why we all need to make a concerted effort to create love and how.
Part two is more somber as it deals with leaving this world in peace. He begins with a definition of death and a short saying by Henry Miller. A special saying that helps readers focus on the message the author conveys within that chapter precedes each chapter. “ Of course you do not die. Nobody dies. Death does not exist. You only reach a new level of vision, a new realm of consciousness, a new unknown world.”
He defines death as the cessation of the connection between our mind and our body. Your biological functions permanently cease. Birth and death are two sides of the coin of life. Each occurs on a daily basis. Revealing his diagnosis with cancer and how he lived with it each day. The tests he took and the fact that he was facing death brings the reader into the life of the author in heartfelt way allowing you to experience what he did. A very important point is made in this chapter as the author states: Your time is limited. That is true so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of other people’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. All too often many people look at others and envy what they have, want to be just like them and envy their lives. Read what he writes about Alexander the Great and Steve Jobs to get a true perspective on this. Alexander had three wishes: only his physician should carry his coffin. The path leading to his final burial should have gold, silver and other precious gems lining it, which he amassed during his lifetime. The third: Both of his hands should be kept dangling out of his coffin. Explanations of the last you will find on pages 185 and 186 and possible understand all three. Chapter 19 focuses on Leaving in Peace, most people fear death and he focuses on that in Chapter 20 beginning with the words of Shakespeare: Cowards die many times before their deaths, The valiant never taste of death but once, Of all the wonders that I yet have heard, it seems to me most strange that men should fear, Seeing that death, a necessary end Will come when it will come. Thantophobia is the fear of death. He explains it in death in this chapter and relates the symptoms where many feel uncomfortable, nauseated or simply perspire. Within the chapter he relates many areas related to death such as: Fear of the Unknown, Fear of Loss of Control, Fear of Pain and Loss of Dignity as just a few. Overcoming Death and Experiencing Death highlight Chapters 21 and 22. How to welcome death with a smile and religious views on death you need to understand and read for yourself as they are discussed in chapters 23 and 24. To Die or Not to Die: As Hamlet said: To be or Not to be: The author explains To Die or Not to Die. The subject of euthanasia has been debated. He defines is as assisted suicide, physician assisted suicide, (dying, doctor assisted dying-suicide), and more commonly termed: Mercy Killing. It means to take the life of someone with the deliberate action and the expressed intention of ending a life to relieve intractable suffering. Some might interpret them as the practice of ending a life in a painless manner. His views on this subject are stated and many will agree or disagree. Readers need to read the chapter and form your own opinion. He defines life as the property or quality manifested in functions such as metabolism, growth, response to stimulation and reproduction, by which living organisms are distinguished from dead organisms or from inanimate matter. The rest and his guidelines for those that believe or want to respect someone’s wishes about ending their lives are clearly outlined in this chapter and Chapter 26. The final chapter focuses on Guidelines from God for a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful Life filled with Love, stop worrying, take care of your problems and Be KIND! The rest is right there for you to embrace and read. Live in Love and Leave in Peace: A lot to think about and definitely a book that everyone should read in order to embrace love and understand death.
Fran Lewis: reviewer