AGAPE Issue #1 – North American Youth Section


, January 28, 2016

The North American Youth Section (NAYS) would like to offer a new monthly newsletter full of constructive insight on the topic of Love in its highest form, or “Agape” to affirm positive action in 2016. 
While some of us contributing writers are located here in Chestnut Ridge, most are spread across the continent. This newsletter is the beginning of a new cycle of projects after recently culminating in St. Louis this last October during a general meeting of the Anthroposophical Society. 
I see the Gesture of our newsletter as one that affirms a few simple claims. First: that Love is an appropriate tool for all situations. Second: that Love is the source of genuine behavior. Finally, that Love enables us to be human. 
As a young person inheriting the world, I am in a near state of paralysis. My desire to initiate this newsletter with the topic of Love is informed directly by the November Attacks in Paris. 
However strongly the fanatic inspires fear in me, I believe that which opposes us in our personal lives is not limited to the extremist. Anything can be in opposition to who we are and actually there are times when it should win over us. 
In our second coming newsletter (February, 2016) we will examine that which opposes us as an Entity: “The Other.” We will seek to gain insight as to what the Other is representative of in humanity. 
Another hope is that this newsletter will be a space where we are encouraged to imagine the disposition of the Other. I feel the Other offers us unique opportunities at every encounter – like whether to choose Love or not? 
I feel that fundamental to giving love is having awareness and that it is only when we become unconscious to reality that a crisis manifests. When allowed to enter our world, a crisis calls for our most expensive and painful resolutions. Put differently: A crisis will always reduce our number of options by demanding from us a reaction. In this case I think it is helpful to consider the different forms of cognition used when reacting as opposed to preventing… 
What the Other needs most is someone to witness it and the unsympathetic forces that guided its development. To choose Love means to recognize these facts and begin the process of relieving the Other from its stigma and us of our prejudices. 
The feeling is that we must see all problems and all people as human again in order to Love them properly. An Enormous step in this direction would be to actively explore the role we ourselves have played as one of these unsympathetic forces. 
Perhaps as our moral imagination develops in the space (which is small at first) that we hold for the Other, we may simultaneously begin to realize that this space, and this space alone, is the only room in the whole world where the Other is Free. 
Thank you.
-Andrew Toothacker