The Opposite of Love

For awhile now, I have been thinking about a blog that I read months ago. It was a very interesting post about the opposite of love (still waiting for GP to write more). This is something that I have been thinking about. In that post, there is the thought that selfishness is the opposite of love. Then there is the thought that hate would be the opposite. Finally there is the suggestion that indifference might be the opposite side of love. I think I have explored this and have come up with a answer.

Let me go into my exploration. Love is the perfect emotion. I think that many of us can achieve it, but many of us tend to lose it. I have often thought that hate is the opposite of love. With hate comes negative feelings and emotions like rage that leads to violence. Whereas Love is more peaceful and calm. So it just makes sense that love and hate are on different sides of the same coin.

It was suggested that indifference is the opposite of love. Well, indifference is the lack of emotion. I think many people can pretend to be indifferent toward other people but that is just difficult to do. You can expend much energy to pretend not to care. However, true indifference is just a lack of enthusiasm and not caring. I am not sure this is the opposite of love. It is like saying that having no emotion at all is on the other side of the coin of love. I don’t know about that.

Selfishness is actually pretty close. The idea that you can do things that only benefit yourself is a very far cry from love. However, we can all be selfish and I think that in some cases it is a requirement. We can love so much and lose ourselves that being selfish at times is what keeps us grounded. Besides there is something else that is much worse than selfishness.

Let me digress here for a moment and have my geek side take over. There is a reason why I have been thinking about this (besides my current issues). As you all know, I collect comic books. One of them is Green Lantern. This is a book about a man who is a part of a intergalactic police force. More importantly, his green ring represents a color in the emotional color spectrum. There is a series called Blackest Night which is a war that is taking place within the books that has to do with the various colors of the color spectrum.

Bare with me here. Green represents Willpower and that means that you need to have a certain amount of willpower to use the ring. So lets see the colors: Yellow is Fear, Orange is Avarice (greed), Blue is Hope, Red is Rage, Violet is Love, Indigo is Compassion, and Black is Death. So what I find interesting is the different dynamics of all this. Each color has a ring and each ring has a symbol. What struck me the most about these symbols was love and compassion, which are close in colors. Violet, which is love, is a star with a circle in the middle, which represents the outward feeling of love. Compassion is similar, the indigo symbol is a circle in the middle with two triangles pointing outwardly (both up and down) which represents charity and concern for other people.

From what I can tell, Rage (red) is the opposite of compassion. However, the opposite of Love is Avarice. The symbol for Avarice is this orange circle with points and lines pointing inward, representing the power of greed. That made me think. I consider compassion and love, in the real world, to be the same thing. You cannot have one without the other. However, avarice is not the right fit for the opposite of love. Avaraice is more about greed and wanting material things. Which makes me think about selfishness but more directly made me think of pride.

Love is such a powerful emotion that make us think outwardly. If we have that feeling of love we would be willing to do anything for people we are close to. Once we are in love, then we think more about that other person than we would ourselves. We would put our own safety aside for loved ones. We would die for our children, parents, and spouses. That is because we feel that love and it is strong.

Pride is also powerful, but it will make us think inwardly. Sure, we would have the ability to love, but it would be mostly for ourselves. We would never admit we are wrong and would refuse the advice or help of others. Sure, we would help people, if it benefited us. Our arrogance would be very apparent. We would think our own worth is greater than others. Basically, we would think we are all that and we are above any subjection. Which is why pride is sin in just about every major religion: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, and Taoism. Clearly my examples of having pride is extreme but I think I made my point.

The quote that I have always heard was “Pride goes before a fall” which is a paraphrase of a passage from the book of Proverbs, in the Old Testament. I have dealt with prideful people in my lifetime and it is not something that I would not wish on anyone. Family members tend to be the worst at this. I am not sure what color of the emotional spectrum Pride would be, but I would guess it would be somewhere between Avarice (orange) and Fear (yellow).
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Black Superheros!

Ever since I was a little kid, I have been reading and collecting comic books. I just could not get enough of them. I am sure that is what has really sparked my passion to read and write so much. As a kid, I spent most of my time and allowance on reading DC comics. I was a particularly a fan of Firestorm, the nuclear man. As a boy, I never saw color or race. So, despite the fact most comic books were of white superheroes, that did not bother me at all. I was into the action and the drama, and of course the art. Firestorm was a very unique character that gained his power from a accident at a Nuclear Power plant that (through nuclear fission) joined two people (Ronald Raymond, high school jock, and Martin Stein, Scientist) into one man.

I loved this character because he was different from the rest. He could beat Superman and Wonder Woman at the same time. Which was always a favorite argument of mine back in the day. Reading Firestorm lead me to read other books that became my favorites as well. Books like the Justice League of America, Flash, and Green Lantern. I will say that Green Lantern became a quick favorite of mine. These books, to me was also very much about the man behind the mask as much as it was about the hero and the powers. At the time, Hal Jordan was always going to be Green Lantern just as Bruce Wayne will always be the Batman.

However in 1983, something curious happened that took me for a loop. Hal Jordan quit being Green Lantern and this sparked a big thing…who was going to take his mantle? Much to my surprise it ended up being a man called John Stewart and he was black. This upset me! How are you going to change Green Lantern? Up to this point, DC had two black superheroes and that was Black Lightning and Cyborg; I was so no interested in either of them! Hal Jordan was a test pilot and John Stewart was an Architect…what fun was that? All of a sudden this book went from an all white cast to a practically all black cast.

This began my introduction to a world larger than myself. It is not that I thought black people could be superheroes, it was the was now apparent to me that there just wasn’t enough. Black Lightning quite frankly was wack. Here is a guy who’s mask is attached to his Afro! So to take off his mask he would have to take of his Afro, which is fake. I wasn’t buying it. Cyborg was ok, but I just didn’t connect.

Which brings me to the world of Marvel Comics, which has Spiderman, X-men, Iron Man, and Captain America. I started collecting X-men and Spiderman when I was in High School. At this point, Firestorm was cancelled and I was mad. But, I did keep an eye on the Black Hero situation for both companies. Marvel barely had any either. They had Black Falcon (Captain America’s sidekick…ok), Storm, and Black Panther. Storm, I liked. Strong black woman who could just kick your ass with her powers or just duke it out with you. Black Panther was ok, never saw him all that much. But, what I did know was that he was a King for a country in Africa! With the exception of Storm, these character we just under used. I lost faith in the ever seeing a true black representation in Comic Books.

*****

There was a time that I did stop collecting. In my years in college I just did not have enough income from my work study position to buy comics. But once I graduated and moved back to New York City, I started getting the itch. I need to know what I missed. So, I started buy a small number of comics starting with the Ultimate Spiderman and Ultimate X-men, which is a different spin on Marvel. The main point that shocked me was that the main character in all these books was a man named Nick Fury and he is black. So for those who saw the clip in Iron Man after the credits were done will know why Samuel Jackson was there.

Black heroes were making it in modern comics and I can tell you that they are too many to name. But what really put the icing on the cake was a cartoon called. The Justice League. The main characters of course are, Superman, the Batman, Flash, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Hawk Girl. In role of Green Lantern is John Stewart. Not only was black back in comics but it was cooler than ever.

During this month, I will feature certain Black Superheroes and break them down contextually and conceptually. Some heroes will be dope and some wont. But I will hold no punches in what I analyze. Hopefully by the end you will also see why I love comic books so much.

Oh, and on a side note…Firestorm was reborn…as an African American Teenager. He will be first on my list…

Have a good one!