“Love, especially true love, makes life worth living.”
Would you agree? Is that a good short-form for the meaning of true love? If nobody loves you, if nobody ever loved you, if nobody will ever love you, if you never loved and if you cannot or never will love — then what is the significance of being alive?
OK, call me the fool I am, but let’s ponder about all that just a little more.
People use the word “love” in so many ways that any one rigorous definition is futile. Rather than working out a lexical definition of the term, we ought to evoke its meaning through our shared experiences. I have come to think that the term love, including true love, is really used more as a metaphor than anything else.
Usually, when people say “I love this or that,” they mean to say that this or that is really valuable to them. Be that so.
However, my concern with love, including true love, is with its meaning in the context of an interpersonal relationship between two living singles, excluding the following: “I love my car.” “I do not love myself.” “My cat loves being cuddled.” “God loves me.” “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
I have come to ponder primarily about the love that makes the world go around – that is the possibility that there can be love between a living man and a living woman. If so, can anything really substitute for that? Can the love for or by a god substitute for that?
In the end, I prefer the real love of a compassionate woman over God’s love most anytime. And I am happy to grant women all their desires and hopes for caring men capable of real love and loving.
Love, in its simplicity and loosely defined structure, is broadly adaptable to significant affection and esteem between a man and a woman. That is just my take on the issue of re-orienting love, others may take a broader or narrower or simply different approach — so be it. I have read Ronald de Sousa’s book Love: – A Very Short Introduction and found it very informative and recommendable. But no, it isn’t short.
Regrettable, most churches in the Western world push the issue of God’s love and marriage at the expense of erotic and/or conjugal love. As a consequence, it seems, many young people find their orientation in love and life through peer pressure in high school.
True conjugal love — that is that real, reciprocated, and lasting erotic love between a man and a woman — makes my life worth living. We ought to talk more about that…