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What exactly is love? Countless of people from philosophers to psychologists to poets and musicians have tried to define it, but perhaps the concept is just too difficult to define or to grasp. Yet it exists somehow. Some define it as a “strong positive emotion of regard and affection” (Source 1). Authors Lewis, Amini, and Lannon (2000) attempted a more biological definition, that love is an essential human drive, like hunger or thirst and may occur in the form of oxytocin, neurotrophins, and pheromones. The field of psychology looks at love as more of a sociocultural phenomenon.
Hollywood thrives over those sappy films filled with love and romance. They’ve become classics in our homes–movies like “Ghost,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “While You Were Sleeping.” Unfortunately, sometimes Hollywood’s portrayal of love is really not about love at all. It’s more about lust. You know, those American Pie films that are supposedly about “young love” is really about the pursuit to “score.” Have we forgotten what love is? Or is love just purely “sex and candy” (Marcy Playground)?
The music world, is never without love songs. Nat King Cole cleverly created initials for love (“L is for the way you look at me. O is for the only one I see. V is very, very extraordinary. E is even more than anyone that you adore”). The Everly Brothers sang that “love hurts, love scars, love wounds and mars.” Singers Joan Jett and Hadaway as well as the bands Incubus and Nazareth would agree that love is painful. But although love may be painful, it may be well worth it, as Taylor Swift reminds us with “Love Song,” a song about two modern-day star-crossed lovers. How romantic. The Backstreet Boys are willing to do anything “as long as you love [them].” But they are not alone. Heck, we’ll do anything for love, or at least to feel love.
Sometimes, this pursuit for love or to feel loved leads us to a downward spiral as we find it in the wrong places. We want intimacy, and not in the sexual sense, but in the sense that only love can provide. Intimacy is the feeling of mutual affection. It’s what genuine friendships are made of. And we aren’t getting enough of it. Perhaps our lack of love and intimacy makes us cheat on our spouses, instead of doing our best to examine the problem and communicate it with our spouses. Perhaps our lack of love and intimacy leads us to an addiction to drugs and alcohol–we end up drowning our sorrows away because the temporary high and buzz makes us feel better about our lives. Perhaps our lack of love and intimacy leads us to harm ourselves, believing that no one in the world cares about us, so it is better to just end our lives right here right now. The tragedy is that we deceive ourselves and that we allow ourselves to be deceived.
Love is out there and it’s not about cute little pink and red hearts. Just recently, I heard a song from Jaeson Ma which basically inspired me to write about this. Jaeson is an outspoken individual who is a culture changer, world shaker, and history maker.
His new song, “Love,” is refreshing because it provides a different message from all those songs and movies about love. What is love? Love is about sacrifice–it’ selfless. It’s thinking about others before yourself. What a radical idea! Perhaps it’s only radical because in our society, we use the word love so much, that it’s lost its meaning: “I love what you’re wearing.” “Do you love the Fray’s new song?” Perhaps it’s only radical in our society because love is self-centered instead of others-centered. We do things because it’ll make us look better. We do things for another only if they do something for us.
I want a love that is life-changing. I think that’s the only sort of love that’s worth it. So why don’t you take a minute and check out this unique message about love, and if you love it, then spread the love:
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