Is your love big enough?

Is your love big enough for past is done? / Is your love big enough for what’s to come?

These lyrics from Lianne La Havas’s song Is Your Love Big Enough? were going through my head before I went to bed last night.

I don’t know why, but while I was mulling over the lyrics this time around, the notion of magnanimity became very apparent to me.

What does magnanimity even mean anyway? From what I understand, it basically means having the courage to have a big heart.

I guess the first time I really thought about the word was in relation to the medieval tale of Robin Hood. It was through that story that I came across King Richard, also known as the Lionheart.

Sure, magnanimity isn’t a word that pops up in our everyday vocabulary, but I think the word’s significance (and relevance) shouldn’t stay in the realm of legend or medieval times.

Fast forward 800+ years from the life and times of the Lionheart, and we find ourselves in the third millenium and contemporary culture – the times in which you and I find ourselves living and breathing.

Which brings me back to Lianne La Havas and her song Is Your Love Big Enough? A friend of mine introduced me to this beautiful songstress from the UK a year ago and I’ve been grateful ever since.

Is your love big enough for past is done? / Is your love big enough for what’s to come?

These two particular lines from La Havas’s song strike a deep chord within me. I admit I don’t quite relate to the rest of the song, but that’s what makes music the beautiful and mysterious thing it is, right? Different people can draw different meanings from songs, personalising it to make it something truly their own.

Is your love big enough for past is done?

Forgiveness. I think there is a very strong link between magnanimity and forgiveness.

Around the time I was supposed to see Lianne La Havas at a live gig, I actually lost my uncle in a terrorist attack in Algeria. He and over 40 other workers lost their lives on what seemed like an average day at work.

I struggled. How could I forgive those who did this? How could I not feel anger, hatred and resentment towards those who killed my uncle and his friends? How could I not feel pain and grief in the face of such a tragedy?

Is my love big enough?

I started asking myself this question more and more. Intellectually I knew hating wasn’t exactly going to bring back my uncle, but my feelings at the time were intense, numerous and conflicting.

It took the love and support of people who cared for me, as well as a personal (and ongoing) decision to say past is done; to choose love and not hate. I wanted courage to have a big heart. In other words, I wanted magnanimity.

It sounds funny to use that word nowadays but I think it can be adapted to today’s culture. Though times may have changed, I think people and human nature is still the same.

SO… Magnanimity isn’t just the stuff of kings, knights and legends of yesteryear. It’s for everyone. You don’t need to be superhuman to choose to have a big heart. You just have to be human.

Generosity, charity, benevolence, open-handedness, big-heartedness, great-heartedness, liberality, humanity, kindness, unselfishness, selflessness, self-sacrifice, self-denial, mercy and forgiveness

Bring magnanimity back I say!

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