I am a student and my favorite subject, aside from food, is Love!
Several years ago I worked for a local distributor. Part of my job entailed riding in a delivery truck with this guy (who's now my husband ;) ) to deliver local and organic produce to NYC. We would leave at 3am and get into NYC around 5:30am. It was a beautiful drive over the Tapanzee, the sun would rise over the and all along the Palisades there were the most amazing colors.....deep rich reds, oranges, yellows. Cars whizzing around and up over the bridge and I wondered, but mostly I hoped, that others took a second to notice the beautiful panorama, too.
Once we hit the city it was fast and loud. Noise, people, cars everywhere. Some places we traveled were a bit depressing. We witnessed many fights and belligerent disagreements. With concerned hearts we watched as little, little children would walk themselves to school, alone......and even sadder still, we saw many fractured parents losing what little control they had on their children in broad day light. It was those moments that I felt I could never come back to the city again. It was just too real for me to handle.
And just when I thought I couldn't handle anymore, I had an idea. I slowly started accepting the things I saw as terrain, offered a silent prayer for love to find those troubled souls, and started to focus on another emotion.......love. To get me through the 14 hour day I would play 'I Spy', except the only things I could spy were lovers. Older couples holding hands, parents hugging and kissing their children, someone offering their dog and piece of their bagel and a scratch on the head. To me, there was nothing more gratifying than to spy to lovebirds in a stolen moment. I had so much fun seeking out the good in the world that I spent most of the day in quiet contemplation of it all. I even had a book all planned out. A simple photo essay showcasing the most powerful emotion on Earth.
I am a constant study. Always looking to better myself and trying to fix where I've been wrong. I've found that if love can soften the heart of the angriest beast......it should also soften mine, and it does......when I'm ready to receive it. Love is one of those things that has to be unconditional. There is no possible way to love with expectation of something in return, how can it be love then? In this post, and subsequent ones, I will be studying the 4 Greek words for love.......Agape,Eros,Philia,Storge. It's here that I will put in a sample of a speech from Martin Luther King Jr. where he gives a powerful nod to the meaning behind 3 of the 4 words.........
"The Greek language, as I’ve said so often before, is very powerful at this point. It comes to our aid beautifully in giving us the real meaning and depth of the whole philosophy of love. And I think it is quite apropos at this point, for you see the Greek language has three words for love, interestingly enough. It talks about love as eros. That’s one word for love. Eros is a sort of, aesthetic love. Plato talks about it a great deal in his dialogues, a sort of yearning of the soul for the realm of the gods. And it’s come to us to be a sort of romantic love, though it’s a beautiful love. Everybody has experienced eros in all of its beauty when you find some individual that is attractive to you and that you pour out all of your like and your love on that individual. That is eros, you see, and it’s a powerful, beautiful love that is given to us through all of the beauty of literature; we read about it.
Then the Greek language talks about philia, and that’s another type of love that’s also beautiful. It is a sort of intimate affection between personal friends. And this is the type of love that you have for those persons that you’re friendly with, your intimate friends, or people that you call on the telephone and you go by to have dinner with, and your roommate in college and that type of thing. It’s a sort of reciprocal love. On this level, you like a person because that person likes you. You love on this level, because you are loved. You love on this level, because there’s something about the person you love that is likeable to you. This too is a beautiful love. You can communicate with a person; you have certain things in common; you like to do things together. This is philia.
The Greek language comes out with another word for love. It is the word agape. And agape is more than eros; agape is more than philia; agape is something of the understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill for all men. It is a love that seeks nothing in return. It is an overflowing love; it’s what theologians would call the love of God working in the lives of men. And when you rise to love on this level, you begin to love men, not because they are likeable, but because God loves them. You look at every man, and you love him because you know God loves him. And he might be the worst person you’ve ever seen."
There is hardly a voice more poignant and hardly a person better to teach us all the power of love than that of Martin Luther King, Jr.
"There is no remedy for love but to love more." ~ Thoreau
And that, in a nutshell, is my goal. To love more. Join me?