Sunday, January 2, 2011

What precisely is love, anyway?

Some believe it’s a state wherein you put it all out there; all or nothing.  Others believe that merely caring for someone else, while having great sex, suffices.  Its obvious then that love cannot be pigeonholed; designated into a neat little package.  This would suggest perhaps that love is best determined by an individual’s propensity to love – and to be loved.  Yes, to be loved.  Just as the measure of how far a human can succeed based upon how far they must climb out of a hole, so too the propensity for a human’s capacity for loving others is determined by how much they are willing to be loved in turn.  Me?  Far from being a generalist, I believe love involves crucial components.  Admiration comes to mind, and I’m not talking sexual admiration; I’m talking about the kind of admiration expressed when you sense a simple wonder.   I’m talking about affection.  I don’t think love can exist without it.  You may find yourself caring for somebody; but do you feel a sense of warmhearted devotion towards them?  I also believe that true love is big on patience.   And let’s not overlook basic respect.  Being in love is a position of privilege; it comes with the acceptance of certain courtesies, and the ability to honor – while still remaining true to oneself.   I guess a major problem would be that a lot of people haven’t really figured out how to honor – much less love – themselves, much less others.  For the most part, I’m probably just as guilty as anybody could be when it comes to this; but I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem when it came to the feelings of others – and not feel like I’m short-changing myself.  If I didn’t care, I wouldn’t; which brings us to the subject of indifference.   Though we may have to detach ourselves at times out of sheer necessity; I do not believe that love and true indifference can survive each other.  It’s one, or the other; but I do not see how they could ever co-exist.  

Well, there you have it.  Mutual senses of admiration, respect, affection, courtesy and honor.  Oh, and a determination to want what’s best for another.  That’s the tricky one; and that opens up a whole other chapter.  Bottom line?  Love is best determined by the individual; and your propensity to love is equal to your propensity to be loved.


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