Guest Editorials

Op-ed: The Time it Takes to Listen

By Kevin Hull

As an accidental heterosexual and writer, I feel the necessity to speak on a subject uncomfortable to many. For silence is the great evil. In silence, negative energy circles the globe. The law may hush the mind, but the heart may transcend the law. I am speaking of love.

Love is love. It knows no gender. We may imagine God: surely neither male nor female – (He) must be the source of love. Who can believe that the most profound and just emotion to be merely an invention of man? Even the atheist must keep an open mind when it comes to the magical and mysterious workings of love.

The secret is in acceptance. When we think we know the ‘right way’ everything becomes justified. After all, the truth is obvious; it is written – or so we are consoled. But if we love we suffer; if not we promote suffering.

To deny love is to deny life. Those who would, by force, compel others to think and behave as they do are tacitly putting themselves above their sisters and brothers – in short they are overcome by ego. Ego dares not doubt. Love suffers all for the sake of truth. When we separate ourselves from others – for any reason – we are turning our backs on truth; and even our ‘love’ is suspect. True love accepts and protects.

Of course there are cases for which we must stand firm – but this is in opposition to evil. Love is never evil. And who among us is qualified to judge the integrity of another’s love? Yes, we must oppose the child molester, the dead-beat dad, the thief and the murderer. But we can never oppose love. The sin of judging another has been clearly spoken, and the words “Judge not lest ye be judged” are sacred and should never be compromised. Taking an overview of sexuality, one must admit the possibility of true love – one’s behavior is for God to judge. Or, if one does not believe in God the axiom of ‘minding one’s own business’ applies.

I am a father and have known love; I have also known false love: lust and infatuation. But in either case who is truly qualified to judge the difference? Given this important and very personal issue one must conclude that the right path is one of withholding judgment and wishing for the best. One’s personal opinion, in a general sense, is also subject to the same law: The right to think what you think, but not the right to judge any individual, who may very well be the exception to your own belief.

To listen and to see – perhaps we may glean the truth after all. And just maybe this truth will go against our beliefs; beliefs which may have calcified in one’s heart from legitimate sources: upbringing; religion; environment . . . In any case if we claim to love humanity perhaps we should give each individual the benefit of the doubt, and realize that regardless of everything else we ought to mind our own business and try to understand the feelings of others.

I am disheartened that the law of the land seems, in the case of sex, to be more enlightened than the inhabitants of the land: though not always, and in most cases only after a tremendous struggle.

I am just a writer (I too have my opinions) who asks that we learn to pause before concluding, and in the time it takes to listen to realize that if we are to judge, it should be ourselves that we judge, and see in this pause that all cases are of a different nature. Love is love. It knows no gender. And we are only qualified to hope in the success of love. For without this nothing else will matter.

Kevin Hull is a writer and poet, whose work, published with reticence both nationally and internationally, has won several poetry awards; his work featured and anthologized. He is the author of LEAVING BLUE MOUNTAINS; NAMELESS TRAVELER (memoir of an American poet) and SLEEPERS IN TRANSLATION (selected poems). WHEN THE SONG LEFT THE SEA – available both as an e-book and print edition – can be purchased on the author’s website: as well as the usual distributors. He lives and works in central California.

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