Monday, June 05, 2006

The Meaning of Love


Love!!
Originally uploaded by fanz.
Love is one of those interesting words in English. It has so many meanings. Consider the following:
* I am in love with my wife
* I love my children
* I love my dog
* I love pizza
* I love this hotel room
* I love autumn
* The score was 20-love

Obviously I don't love my wife in the same way I love pizza. Yet, we use the same word to express the deep abiding passion that exists between husband and wife as we use to express the flavor of some food. Looking in the dictionary, there are over 17 different meanings to the word love. I can be a noun or a verb, active or passive.

There are two separate phrases involving love to consider. The phrases are "in love" and "for love". "In love" means deeply or passionately enamored. "For love" is defined as out of compassion; with no thought for a reward.

In love describes a state or feeling. I am in love with my sweetheart. That describes how I feel about her. It is an emotional state. However, as noted before, emotions are transitory. Emotions only exist in the here and now.

For love describes an action and a purpose. Think of all the things you do just because you love your sweetie. How many things does your sweetheart do for you? It is these acts of selfless benevolence done "for love" that engenders being "in love".

To remain "in love", do things "for love".
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