The Opposite of Love


Elie Wiesel, 2012

I am saddened to hear of the death of Elie Wiesel aged 87. He has inspired many, many people. He showed what it means to live the life you have been given and to make something new and worthwhile from the broken mess of evil.

The opposite of love is not hate but indifference, the opposite of life is not death but the indifference to life or death.

~ Elie Wiesel, September 1928 – July 2016


Elie Wiesel is on the second row, seventh from the left, pictured in 1945, days after liberation at Buchenwald concentration camp (image from Wikipedia)

Love is…

I recall our first meeting, at the home of French friends. Love at first sight. Perhaps. Surely on my part. I thought her not only beautiful but superbly intelligent… I became convinced that I could listen to her for years and years – all my life – without ever interrupting her. 


One day at the beginning of my convalescence, little Elijah, five years old, comes to pay me a visit. I hug him and tell him, “Every time I see you, my life becomes a gift.”

He observes me closely as I speak and then, with a serious mien, responds:

“Grandpa, you know that I love you, and I see you are in pain. Tell me: if I loved you more, would you be in less pain?”

I am convinced God at that moment is smiling as He contemplates His creation.

Both extracts from ‘Open Heart’ by Elie Wiesel, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, survivor of the holocaust.