When I saw Schindler’s list for the first time at the age of 23, it solidified my perspective of life on this earth.
Life is a game.
It is the
Game of Love.
Oskar Schindler, a member of the Nazi party, risked a violent death each time he tried to save well over a thousand people. As a businessman, his first reaction to Hitler’s rise in power was to take advantage of an opportunity. He was a rich man wanting to make even more money. But when he sees a little girl in a red coat coat walking to her death, his heart is pricked with the needle of unconditional love, and his experience of that love drives him to work his hardest to save as many people as he can.
Red coat moments occur around us every single day. How often do we notice them? How many did Schindler miss before he understood their significance? Before he realized that he was a member, not only of the human species, but also of the human family. Once his eyes opened to this reality, he started seeing red coats on everyone around him. Because everyone wears a red coat and deserves unconditional love.
When honored for his efforts during the war, rather than feeling that recognition for his work as an honor, he seemed almost ashamed. He stated he only wished he could have saved more.
That is what happens when one truly understands the concept of unconditional love. How long does it take to start paying attention to the fact that we each have our own life saving list? How many of us are like Schinlder?
What conditions were in place when Schindler created his list? What was he risking to unconditionally love those around him? People that were not his family. People that were not even part of his own tribe. What are the conditions impacting your list?
Schindler’s life saving list was long, defined by a unique situation during extraordinary times. But the game isn’t solely about numbers. It’s about conditions. We learn unconditional love through the conditions that we are presented with in life. The Talmud says “Whosoever saves one life saves the world entire.” In The New Testament Jesus teaches that a good shepherd risks leaving the 99 to search for the one who is lost and in danger.
Are we willing to cross tribal boundaries to show unconditional love to one another? Is unconditional love even 100% unconditional if we will risk something for our own family or tribe, when our own personal legacy is intertwined with our love for them?
When one’s conscience has been opened to the feeling of pure love, there is no hesitation or thought about risk when another is in need.
Someone who has tasted the nectar of this kind of love knows that the cost of the riskiest of behaviors is always worth the feeling of undiluted, unpolluted, unconditional, love.
We’re all playing the game of love on this earth.
We all have our to-do list as we move through today’s big game.
What’s on yours?