I’ve been doing a lot of contemplating about social and political trends. I see a lot of positive publicity when someone does something that is non-traditional. It’s almost like a celebration and a media feeding frenzy. Almost always, these non-traditional decisions are portrayed as being motivated by love. But, I wonder, has the media and politics of the day started creating a subtle corruption of love?
Let me explain.
There are many types of feelings that the word love is used to represent. Parental love, brotherly love, friendship, romantic love, personal love, etc. At the root of it, though, love means caring for something enough to sacrifice for it – to place that something ahead of personal interests or gain. Love is life-long and lasting.
Love is the most powerful feeling human beings experience. Love is what makes a mother spend the first year of a baby’s life not sleeping much. Love is what makes an elderly husband care for – feed, clothe, and look after all the personal needs – of his wife, who is suffering from Alzheimer’s and can no longer meet any of his needs. Love is what motivates young men and women to volunteer for the armed services to protect their families, friends, and freedoms. Love is genuinely about forgetting self in the service of others.
Yet, many popular songs speak about “love” as a way to fulfill a personal “need”. Many popular shows portray “love” as a fleeting, passionate moment that should be forgotten soon afterward. And, many politicians define “love” as the removal of choices so that no one ever struggles or hurts. There are many dangers in allowing these subtle corruptions of love to become the actual definitions.
A romantic love that is based solely in the gratification of personal desires isn’t love – it’s abuse. It turns something beautiful and amazing into a power struggle. This corruption of love turns a force that binds families into something that is fleeting and destructive to all parties. Children lose the support of both parents. Spouses lose the companionship and support necessary to keep a marriage healthy. And, couples lose the closeness that begins to cement couples together for life. Instead of building and binding a family, this definition of love destroys all parties involved.
A predetermined love that lasts for a night, a weekend, or a summer isn’t love – it is lust. It is selfish – which is the opposite of love. And in its wake are left hurt and damaged lives. This definition again pulls apart the fabric of society and innocent people suffer.
Finally, a love that takes away all choices from the loved one isn’t love. It is power and control. When people say they want to “make” everyone have this or that because they are loving and compassionate, what they really are saying is that they don’t love people enough to trust them to make good decisions. Love wants people to become self-sufficient. Love wants people to have the power to make decisions in their lives. Love is not controlling – it is freeing.
Love is such an amazing, motivating, power. It is freeing, and supporting. It creates a strong society, where everyone helps and supports each other. Yet, when the subtle corruptions of love are allowed to become the definitions of love, then chaos, destruction, and darkness replace what love once was. Our society cannot survive long with these corrupted forms of love.
We need to start building love up in our communities. Reaching out to all people, regardless of any perceived differences, and loving them. We are all humans, all living on this same planet, and if we fill our hearts up with love, then that is what we will give out. The more love that is given out, the stronger that love will become. This example of being loving to all will teach our children that the portrayal of love in popular culture and politics is a counterfeit, and they will be empowered to know and understand what genuine love is.