Friday, 8 June 2012
A Question of Love
LOVE. A 4-letter word whose profound sense has become cheapened. Over the years the word 'love' has become watered down to a point where it really no longer has much meaning. It has become a word that we know how to use in appropriate moments and at the most convenient of times. People often associate love with a gooey emotional feeling - but feelings are notoriously fickle. So, what exactly is love and what does it mean to love?
Is it love when your best friend tells you that your husband/wife is having an affair?
Is it love when you say 'no' to a child who wants something that is not good for them?
Or is it love when a person gives up their job and career to nurse a sick relative, and resents them for it?
How about the parents who participated in their daughter's death, because they thought the daughter dishonoured the family? Is that concept of family honour an expression of family love?
How about the wife who convinces her husband how much she loves him, yet she can be found in the arms of another man on a regular basis, whilst he waits patiently at home?
How about the man who batters a woman, because of his fear that she might leave him... because he loves her so much?
How about those special occasions when you have a lovely big birthday bash? Listen to some of those speeches, how your friends make a big deal about how they love you and would do anything for you, but where exactly were they when you called for help in the middle of the night, did they even return your call? You hardly get to see them from one year to another but yet they always manage to make the party!
How about the parent who forced her daughter to go to the police to confess her part in the London riots last summer? Was it tough love? A lesson learned in time before her daughter went further down the criminal path? Or a betrayal of parental care?
Oh, how about the dreaded funerals, the ones where everyone is totally in love with the deceased but yet when the deceased was alive, people wouldn't even spit on them if they were on fire, so is it love?
Is it love when someone is in a vegetative state, being kept alive by a machine, with no hope of recovery, and you choose to switch that machine off? Or would love keep the machine on?
LOVE. Such a little word, designed to be filled with a big meaning, but so often sounding empty and hollow.
Prince Edward gave up the crown because he loved Mrs Simpson. But shouldn't he have loved his country more instead, and done his duty? What would you have done?
I had an example close to home. My neighbour died of a heart attack, leaving behind a husband who told me that he could not live without the love of his life, his wife of 60 years. He loved her. He died within 3 months of a broken heart.
Upon reflection of all this, what does love mean to you?