Aké Satia is the Chief Vision Officer at Aké Satia, a Human Capital firm in the DC area focused on strengthening organizations by bolstering the intersection of people strategy and business strategy.



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The One Thing!

The Thriving Essentials Series: Finale!

Last week, we explored the key to thriving. The key to thriving is cultivating healthy and robust relationships with others. Although this appears simple at face value, as we all know, it is hard to do. When you ask a random group of people what they think one must do to build a healthy and strong relationship, you may hear responses such as being honest, showing kindness, and giving generously. Unsurprisingly, organizations provide similar tips. For example, in response to the question, what does a healthy relationship look like, the state of New York states that Healthy relationships involve honesty, trust, respect, and open communication between partners, and they take effort and compromise from both people. (SOURCE: What Does a Healthy Relationship Look Like? (ny.gov))

Many individuals would summarize this response in one sentence: Love the other person. Naturally, this got me pondering the age-old question: what is love? Not romantic, platonic, playful, or any other specific sort of love. Simply pure love.

The one thing!

Many say love is a feeling. – Like a passion-filled adrenaline rush when skydiving. Or the homey feeling one gets while walking past a bakery during the holiday season. I can appreciate a thrill and sweet-smelling aroma, and I bet you also can. But the challenge with feelings is they can be here one moment and gone the next, like aromas. Therefore, feelings are grossly insufficient as the foundation of relationships, which require a secure platform to develop and last.

Like many, I do not believe love is a feeling, although culture and society frame it as such. Liking a thing or a person is a feeling, but though feelings accompany love, they do not define it. If love were simply a feeling, no parent to a newborn would stay awake almost every night for three months, change 300 diapers per month, and lose their social life. Then, decide to do it all over again. Yet many do! A Gallup study in 2023 revealed that 55% of Americans have had two or more children compared to 14% who have had one child. Furthermore, as was reported, most parents consider having two children preferable to one. However, I imagine warm fuzzy feelings are not the primary factor driving an increase in family size.

Since many say love motivates them to have more children, let us take a cue from a popular Tina Turner song and consider, What’s love got to do with it?

What’s love got to do with it?

Love is foundational to parent-child relationships, lifetime partnerships, and many others. Also, it is not a mere emotion that dissipates after a struggle or the inevitable passage of time. We see the tenacity of love when one is disappointed with the actions of another yet responds in a manner that supersedes their feelings. Now, I recall a distinct memory!

Several years ago, my parents and I enjoyed watching an American television documentary series called I (Almost) Got Away with It. The series profiled true stories of people who committed crimes, dodged the law, and ran from justice. But they were ultimately arrested! While watching the show, we often marveled at how investigators resorted to contacting the mother of the fugitive when other attempts failed. Whenever they did, she would vehemently deny knowing where the fugitive was. Also, she would add that she has not seen them for many months but will report back if they contact her. Then, when the officer departs, the fugitive would emerge from her basement where she hid them.

Love does…

Notably, some of the crimes the fugitives committed were egregious! Therefore, deciding to protect them seemed incomprehensible, but the mother would have it no other way. Eventually, when detained, some mothers would even plead to be taken to prison instead of their guilty child.

You may have heard of such a story. And if you are a parent, such a narrative might resonate with you because there is little you will not do for your child. Or perhaps you view any attempts to help one evade the law as an unpardonable offense. If so, although it may be challenging, let us set aside judgment and consider the expression of love. – Love is action. And we express love by what we do, not how we feel. The actions that illustrate and express love are mindsets and qualities we explored in The Mindset Series and The Thriving Essentials Series. Such as humility, service, faithfulness, and many others.

Love is:

Today, some say love is not enough, which is understandable when one considers it a feeling. However, feelings that many erroneously deem love are a heady mix of novelty, fascination, and excitement. They provide as much satisfaction as a can of soda after an intense workout that relieves thirst but holds no nutrients.
But love is different. As was aptly described millennia ago: “love is patient and kind. It does not envy or boast. It is not proud and does not dis-honor others. It is not self-seeking or easily angered. It keeps no record of wrongs. It does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. – It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
This is an incredibly high bar! What more could one aspire to or need?

Unlike our favorite romcoms portray, love is not a syrupy feeling that descends upon a lonely heart like a bird perching on a tree branch. We see love in the courageous move to forgive. Or the daring choice to stand by and walk with another. Indeed, love is an action, and we can choose to love even when we feel otherwise.

Friend, I leave you with this wise saying from centuries past: I may know all the secret things and understand all the facts. But I am nothing – if I do not love others.

Until next time.

For you and to you,



Image credit: Pexels | Eugeily Alekseyev



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