Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Love Blog

After being deluged with the candy-heart images of the money machine that is Valentine's Day, I find it refreshing to think about some definitions of love that don't quite mesh with the chocolate-and-flowers images.

Long ago I read a book called The Road Less Traveled by M. Scott Peck. Although, as is the case for many of us, his sometimes troubled life didn't always follow his guiding principles as set out in the book, I never forgot his definition of love. He said that love was simply desiring the spiritual growth of another, and was expressed in the action of nurturing that spiritual growth.

That had an impact on me. In a culture where we are encouraged to seek out what feels good and use relationships to get our own needs met, I like to consider the goal of a more selfless love, one that doesn't always feel good and may not afford the self-indulgent excesses that we see in the movies and on television.

Okay, so it's an ideal--I still intend to meditate on it today. And while I'm at it, here are some other thoughts on love. I forget where I got them.

"Love is patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him. . . . there are three things that remain—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love."

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