I like love. But the really old definition of love from the Bible is problematic for me. That explanation makes you think ... you know, like “love is patient” or “not rejoices in wrongdoing”. Glory, this is hard.
Scientists have established that as humans, we need to be loved and to love. This makes sense. We thrive when we are around people who love us, and we really get a lift when we love someone or do something with love for others. I am still working on the patient, bearing all things, etc. part.
We can read the descriptions of love in every culture’s literature and art. It is, in some ways, the impetus for all human behavior. No wonder we mess it up so many times. We have done awful things in the name of love. We have done great things in the name of love. In endless ways, humans have used it as an excuse for about everything ... “Well, I loved him, her, it, and that’s why.”
Now, for the older generation, we can sort things out a little better. I said a little better. The elusive meaning can still trip us up and make us do something foolish in love’s name.
We have experienced love in almost every form, so we can sort out how we feel about something and then decide what to do about it. Should I marry or just date. Should I move in with my family, or will I strain the precious love between us. How much do I really love doing a certain activity or can I give it up without much pain? ... Is this relationship only habit and does it help me continue to grow?
Loving is one thing; loving objects can trap us. Certainly as we age, some things become more precious, and there is the rub. You might hear from your precious family, “Why are you keeping this? What is this thing?” We sometimes must let go of belongings, and it is never easy. This is when we need a trusted person to help us decide what goes. Sort it out, and then let the family take what is precious to them. An orange parrot can be someone’s special memory!
Love is tricky, huh? We are human and need love. Age allows us to sort it out and then enjoy. After all, most of us have seen all shapes and sizes of it, and we know love is just to be enjoyed. So as it has been said in ancient verse, love is kind ... so offer love and all will be well.
And always ... remember to be kind.
Nedda Simon of rural Princeton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.