The Timeless Principle of Love

Photo by Roberto Nickson (@g) on Unsplash

Is Love Really All You Need?

THE TIMELESS PRINCIPLE OF LOVE

This is one in a series of essays that was originally conceived as a book for print publication. If you enjoy it and would like to read more from the collection, you can find a sort of Table of Contents here.

This topic is, of course, far too large for one essay. But my point in bringing it up is not to touch on every aspect of the grand emotion, or to try to boil it all down to one or two pithy comments.

In actuality, love is one of those words in the English language that carries so many connotations and so much emotional baggage, no one can hope to wrap it all up in a nice little package. It’s a noun, a verb, and the root of an adjective. It’s used sincerely and sarcastically, sometimes in the same sentence. There have been more poems, songs, stories and books based on its broad shoulders than any other single subject, I’m sure. This humble writer wouldn’t even try to simplify that.

But, for the sake of highlighting the life-improving essence behind Love as it fits in with the Timeless Principles theme, let me provide the definition I’m referring to:

“Love is the self-sacrificing concern for another human being that motivates positive action for that person.”

This kind of love is really the basis for broader concepts like “basic human decency”, “doing the right thing”, and “taking one for the home team”. It’s what makes someone pull over on the highway when they pass a fellow motorist pulled over with the hazards on. It’s what makes a cornerback from the 49rs stop and help up a wide receiver from the Lions after taking him down at the 45. And it’s what makes it possible for us to give someone else the benefit of the doubt when we’re not sure.

This kind of love is sorely lacking in many areas of human interaction, and the effects of that lack are felt most prominently in the ironic suspicion with which you are likely reading this chapter.

We have become so accustomed to having to look out for ourselves and to wondering what the other guy wants from us, we read something about “love” assuming the author is 1) a dreamer, 2) horribly disconnected from reality or 3) trying to sell something.

This same suspicion or crooked view affects us when others do something kind or helpful for us. I know if my car is broken down on the side of the highway and someone stops to “see if everything’s alright,” my guard is up. I’m worried that they’re a killer or a mugger, come to take advantage of an opportunity. And that’s a sad state of affairs.

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

But the truth is that love — the kind of love we’re talking about here — can be even more powerful now than it always was, if for no other reason than it’s less common!

If you can get past that initial defensiveness and suspicion with which others will view your selfless loving acts, you will find immeasurable joy and rewards in return! Even if the person you help does nothing but provide a simple “thank you,” the feeling you take away from the interaction can bolster your mood all day, or longer.

We should all strive to make love less of a self-satire and more of a true motivating factor in our lives. Unlike material things, the more commonplace it becomes, the more valuable it remains.

WORDS TO REMEMBER:“I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge — myth is more potent than history — dreams are more powerful than facts — hope always triumphs over experience — laughter is the cure for grief — love is stronger than death.” — Robert Fulghum

This is one in a series of essays that was originally conceived as a book for print publication. If you enjoy it and would like to read more from the collection, you can find a sort of Table of Contents here.

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