I came across an interesting tool a few weeks ago in O Magazine. It was a set of flashcards for couples -- things you could interject into an argument simply by holding up a sign. The one that struck me was, "Speak to me as if I'm someone that you love."
Wow. I mean really. Wow.
The card got stuck in my head. It flashes at me all the time. I hear the words echoing in there in the voices of all the people that I love, and I feel that pang that tells me that I haven't always spoken to them "as if I loved them" when we're fighting.
Lesson the first was for me as an individual. Love the people you love, even when you disagree. Even when you're angry. Love them, and make sure it's still obvious.
Lesson the second was buried a little deeper, and it was for the greater Hellenic community.
Aphrodite Pandemos was honored in the agora. Why is that? Why was the Goddess of Love, Beauty, Sexuality, and Fecundity revered in the marketplace? Well, it was the place where public debates took place. It was the place where heated discussions could boil over, but her presence was there to remind people to have love and compassion for each other. Perhaps she was that reminder for the ancients to speak to each other as if they loved each other.