“Love is a symbol of eternity. It wipes out all sense of time, destroying all memory of a beginning and all fear of an end.”
When we ask people, ‘What is love all about; what does it mean?’ we get all sorts of ideas back. People have many and varied responses, none of which are often categorically wrong.
When I trawled through a bunch of quotes on love recently I was amazed as to how many quotes I saw that I didn’t expect to see—such was my narrowed perspective regarding what I was looking for. I was looking for a quote on romantic love. Do you think I could find one?
Try these two:
“Love is an act of endless forgiveness, a tender look which becomes a habit.”
“The hardest-learned lesson: that people have only their kind of love to give, not our kind.”
The latter quote is getting close but it still wasn’t really what I was looking for; still its truth struck me. I was then reminded of the strength and power of love—the Divine glue that holds us together.
Love, a “thing” that can’t easily or adequately be defined, is the thing, however, that we live for. We need to love and be loved. These two—apart from having something to hope for—are central to our living purpose. Without love resonating in our life, in both giving and receiving, we seem destined for many perilous ends, not the least of which a plethora of mental, emotional and spiritual illnesses. Certainly we’d have a joyless, helpless and hopeless life.
We could extrapolate this out to a dreaded ‘loveless society’ and the end of the age of many freedoms would certainly be afoot. A glimpse of this reality was 1930s-1940s Europe under the Nazi tyranny. In many ways those curses have echoed and even affect us today.
Societies need love, as represented in the justice system, charities for the poor and needy, as well as the legislature for social fairness and care, and our communities would rapidly breakdown if not for these and other forms of communal love. Dare I say it but “government” is the institution for ensuring love perpetuates itself through the generations. They regulate society to ensure the right balance of love, care and concern is always represented—that’s their quintessential goal.
When we begin to think in these terms i.e. about the necessity of love, we’re hopefully forced to consider what our personal contribution is.
Like, how are we contributing—in love, through acts of good, patience, kindness, humility etc—to the lives of those around us? Where are we otherwise too selfish? What about our contributions in the community? Where are we otherwise too lazy?
If we wish to project a vision of safe eternity—or at least safety in this life—playing our small but important part, we must love. We cannot afford not to.
Love is power for life.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.