When you have love in your heart, struggles will fade away.
For Tavita Makeki, 53, from Tuanai and Sagone, he believes love keeps us working even when you don’t feel like it. And love makes so many other things possible.
For him, he is motivated by the love for his children and family.
“I have children and they’ve all grown up. As a father I am very proud of who they are and what they’ve accomplished,” he told the village voice.
“My prayer is that they will continue to be blessed.”
Tavita said one of the issues in Samoa today is parents demand far too much from their children.
“That is not love,” he said.
“When they know he only gets a certain amount of money and they ask for the moon and the sun, I am certain that is not the way it should be.”
And yet in some families, that is the reality today.
“There’s nothing to hide because what we see today and how many (families) are struggling in dealing with life tells everything.
“No matter how good those jobs that our children have they all end up being bogged down by loans they cannot pay. And many of them end up stealing to try and keep up.”
Tavita said parents have to make load lighter for their children.
“That is what true love is,” he said.
“For some of them, they too have young families to feed. For me, that’s why the only time I call my children is when I’m absolutely desperate.”
Tavita reminded that love covers a multitude of sins. Love should also make us think about what others are going through.
“Love conquers everything in a Samoan family,” he said.
“Without love nothing in this world would be fully done to its potential and it is this very thing called ‘love’ that continues to push everyone to work together.
“Love is the best thing to have in life, whether you’re a father, mother, matai, pastor or whatever position you hold.
“If you don’t have it (love) you just can’t carry on and perform your duties to the best you can especially for your family.”
He also strongly believes love is something that needs to worked on all the time.
“It’s an action word,” he said. “It’s empty if you just say it. You have to show your children, your family that you love them.”
Love also leads to forgiveness.
“I know there is someone who has wronged you but we need to forgive. That is what love is about.”
If everyone knows the concept of love, Tavita is confident Samoa will be a much better place to live.
“If you love your neighbor, you wouldn’t steal their property and you wouldn’t conspire to do them wrong.”