Academia needs a paradigm shift. That’s because we are not in this world to learn to hate. So, academia should not teach us to hate. I believe we are here in this world to love unconditionally. And that means we are called to love everyone without exception.
Loving everyone means we love all people, including our Jewish friends, Arabic friends, white people, black people, women, men, everyone. It means no one is singled out or targeted. The whole purpose of existence is to love one another. In the end, it doesn’t matter what we accomplish, just as long as we love everyone. Love in itself is the ultimate accomplishment.
I love everyone. I especially love our Jewish community, particularly the great Jewish teachers in my life. One of those teachers brought me the most transformative spiritual awakening I could ever imagine. Consequently, a life mission of mine is to bring his teachings to academia. They are teachings on unconditional love.
And knowledge is meant to be united with love. It’s the highest form of learning, and it’s called wisdom. Until all academia strives to reach that point of wisdom or universal love, meaning love for all, we’re missing the point. In fact, academia can be destructive and regressive if its precepts aren’t firmly rooted in unconditional love or, in other words, wisdom. I define wisdom as knowledge infused with universal, selfless, unconditional love.
During graduate school, I wanted to do a master’s thesis where I didn’t see myself as a victim or blame others, but I couldn’t find a methodology to support this view outside of Grounded Theory. I could find no methodology or theory premised in love for all, or at least in cooperation with all. I found Transcendentalism, which had some spiritual underpinnings, but it was out of vogue; therefore, I couldn’t use it.
Additionally, I had taken a class in women’s studies. My partner at the time said he noticed a marked decline in our relationship after I took the course. I no longer wanted to please or serve him. Instead, I aimed to cut off my hair, which many women who’ve taken women’s studies consider doing. It was a form of resistance to my partner and all mankind. In other words, I was filled with anger and self-interest. I grew hostile and demanding. Our relationship turned into long-term fighting and eventually dissolved.
Consequently, a natural solution to women’s studies is to advance a theory premised on women’s immense capacity for unconditional love. This profound love is tied to women’s roles as carriers of babies in their wombs and the unconditional love that often surges with bearing a child. Therefore, unconditional love should be central to women’s studies, rather than “resistance” or, worse, hatred. Love is academic progress.
Moreover, academic progress is unconditional love for everyone and not selective hatred for any group or person. Therefore, we must love our Jewish neighbors, our Arabic neighbors, men, women, and all people regardless of color, identity, or any other distinction. We are all beautiful people with tremendous souls and rich, meaningful lives, without exceptions. Everyone is a spark from the divine. And academia’s moral obligation is to teach us to love and not hate. Hate is regress; love is progress. Therefore, unconditional love for all is the paradigm shift needed to underpin all academic disciplines, research and instruction.