William Shakespeare said: “Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.” In this quote, he captures the essence of love in all of its form. Love should be something that is freely given out as it makes the world a better place. When people love one another and do wrong to no one, the people of the world can rest easy.
Unfortunately, is so rarely the case. Instead, our world is loaded with competition where people only love themselves. They are bound by success and that success often comes by doing wrong to people. The idea is that someone else must fail if another person has to feel success. Take sports, for instance. As one team wins, another loses. And, with the unfortunate rise of unsportsmanlike conduct, fans of winning teams are all too happy to shove their victories in the face of the fans of the losers. The idea of us versus them has become the way of the world today.
In Shakespeare’s quote, he tells people to trust a few. This is wise advice, on both sides. While it is good to be picky with the people you trust, it is also wise to be a trustworthy person. You prove your value by being trustworthy. You give people reasons to love you because you stay true to your word. This may not sound like love, but it is. By being trustworthy, you are not only showing love to the people you are supporting, but you are also showing that you love yourself. Your reputation is based on how you treat yourself.
Another part of Shakespeare’s quote about love involves loving all. This does not mean that Shakespeare advises people to fall in love with everyone they meet. Instead, his advice is to anyone who will listen is to be nice to people you meet and to treat everyone as you would want to be treated. Essentially, Shakespeare is sharing his very own version of the Golden Rule.
There are several different types of love and Shakespeare encourages them in his wise words without even having to define them. When you love everyone, you show compassion. When you trust few, you are showing self-love as you avoid being mistreated by the people who break your trust. And, when he advises to do no wrong, he is telling people to be selfless in the way that they live their lives. Life is so much better when we treat people well and we show compassion. It is also better when we take care of ourselves, especially when it comes to trusting people. So many problems come from people breaking trust. When people are hurt, they often respond in ways that they later regret; this is why Shakespeare offers this advice.
Love can show up in a variety of different forms and Shakespeare was known for writing plays that shared those forms. From plays like Romeo and Juliet to Taming of the Shrew, Shakespeare often showed his audience what could happen when love went wrong so we could learn how to handle love correctly.