Don't get crazy; I just thought I'd use a Van Halen song title as inspiration. I didn't find someone at Mexico Cafe or Stater Bros, but I did want to explore this topic. One never knows.
Love has been written about by countless poets. Tales of this phenomenon are the storyline of many a movie. It is the one thing in life that probably everyone seeks, in one way or another - love of family, life's work, pastime, friends, or romantic soul mate. Love... might just be the world's single greatest commodity. It gives meaning to our lives, it cannot be bought, and it can be lost even before you knew you had it.
Our first notion of love, in most cases, is discovered through our family. We come to understand, that there are people whose primary responsibility is to comfort us and keep us alive. These people show us love as an enduring and unbreakable bond. We probably mostly take it for granted, but our first lesson of love is that it involves a dedication that knows no boundaries and is timeless. It is an agreement that you don't remember making, yet it is a shared truth that rules your existence. Love teaches us how we are to be.
Eventually, we find the love that is friendship. This takes years, as people move in and out of our lives, and we learn what it actually takes to earn love when it is not given unconditionally and there is no dramatic, heart-pounding thrill. Years may pass before we truly know if a friend is someone who sincerely shares this bond. Love teaches us to be patient, to discriminate, and to work to prove who we are.
As a Christian, I can attest that love is a course of study. Not only must we work to earn love, but there are many rules! We can expect love from God, but we learn we have a duty
to love others in a way that makes us worthy of His love. There are many teachings that are the syllabus for a lifetime of love, and for the first time we have a road map for how we should go about such an endeavor. Love teaches us how to seek what is pure.
Then there is romantic love. Before we actually know what it is or what to do with it, we seek that which we see in movies or read about in books. We go looking for something as if lost in the forest, but we pretend we know where we are going... and odds are we probably screw it up many times, because we don't know what the hell we are doing. Even as we reach a maturity to where we have a better understanding, we still screw it up for one reason or another. Oftentimes, this love walks into our lives, yet it is not unconditional; it does not give you time; it has no road map. Love humbles us and makes us bitter and weak or gives us a new direction and makes us stronger. Love teaches us to hope and to dream and to be resilient.
You may have heard in a popular film that "love, actually, is... all around." Indeed. It is. But, in all cases, love is a gift, it is a responsibility, and it is a project. It cannot be predicted, nor can it be conquered, but it must be sought, and it must be cared for. Indeed, it should be celebrated, for what would life be without it?
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