The author writes:
After about three decades of practicing and teaching cardiology, I became increasingly frustrated, not with medicine, but with non-medical aspects of American life. The way we celebrate Christmas, our premier holiday, was especially disturbing.
Intuitively it seemed that too little love was informing and affecting our individual and collective lives. Love is a one-syllable, commonly used noun and verb which is packed with complexity, power, and mystery. Almost all “great book” authors have written about love and it is hard to imagine a time when the last word about love is written.
The subject of this book is the love of true friendship, of parent for child, and brotherly love—not erotic, sexual love. The major theme is a firm belief in the good which can be produced by love and peace rather than hate and war.
Since 1990, when Christmas approaches I have assigned myself some homework: produce a short essay about love that can be read in about five minutes. For me this exercise has been a spiritual blessing which I wish to share with you.