There is a difference between loving someone for who they are, and
being nice to someone in spite of who they are.
I sometimes wonder how many people really get the distinction that the
latter does not create the former.
You can choose to be nice to someone even when you really do not care
for them at all. It’s a good thing to do.
But when you are using phrases like “potential”, “could be”, “if
only”… with your mind on how much they might be able to completely
change who they are, that’s a good sign that you aren’t really in the
realm of love.
You are in the realm of charity, or even the realm of pity.
I get that you are taking the effort to help the person. But you can
easily hand him a sandwich and talk to him, and still not actually
You can see how much value he could have if it he just turn his life
around, and that’s a good thing to be able to have that vision. But
can you tell him how much value he has right now, completely as-is,
even if he’s high as a kite, wasting his time and what little money he
gets, and doesn’t even feel like trying to see that vision? Would
sitting with him be worth your time even if you had nothing to give
him and nothing in mind to talk about?
Do you really value who he is an individual person, a very specific
person, and not just do something nice for him because he happens to
be the body sitting in front of you?
You don’t have to like where he is in his life. You don’t even have to
like his personality.
But if you are being nice to him out of pity, or because you should,
or because God said to, don’t mistake doing nice things for someone
with loving someone.