Love and hate are not unconditional, unalterable, never-ending states of being. I’m paraphrasing Franklin Veaux here, but my love for someone is conditional on them being a good human. The ties of family, the bonds of friendship, the chains of a shared experience; none of this matters if a person becomes cruel or cowardly.
But if love, hate and the many feelings in between are not unconditional and un-ending, what are they? They are reaffirmed. A man or woman isn’t born cowardly or courageous. They choose to be—or not be—that way every day, every moment. It’s the same with our feelings for one another. Every day, every moment, I choose whether to continue loving or hating, whether to continue caring or not caring.
This means that none of us can rest easy on the foundation of our past. If we’ve won someone’s admiration or respect, we must ensure we retain it with more acts of kindness, courage and generosity. It does not do to be or do these things for a decade and then live off the interest. We can try, but it will never work. Our past, in this domain, is irrelevant. Nobody cares how we once were. They only care how we are now, how we conduct ourselves in our relationship with them in this moment.