One question has confused mankind for as long as we have roamed the earth, and still continues to make us rethink and re-evaluate our lives everyday. It is the question of love. We constantly fight to find out what it is, where it comes from and why it makes us do crazy things. I know it is difficult to write about love without sounding too cliché or mushy, so just bear with me. I think the issue of love still permeates the air so often and so thickly because every single person in the world has some form of love in their life (or at least I hope so), and will continue to make both good and bad discoveries about it, in many ways and at different times. No two people can possibly associate the word with the same definition.
People often claim they are so filled with love that they will go to great lengths to protect it, fight for it and even ignore it or push it away. As a hopeless romantic, the concept of love and all that goes with it constantly floats around in my mind and shapes the way I interact with the world around me. That is why I have begun to notice a trend about this phenomenon. Walking through campus, hearing snippets of conversation and even participating in them myself, I find myself constantly hearing, “Alright I love you, I’ll see you later,” “Much love, call me later” and “You are so cute, I love you!” If someone does something funny or amusing, I hear, “Oh my God, I love you!”
For a while, these phrases just sort of washed over me. I heard them constantly from the young men and women that surrounded me, some of them in a romantic relationship, and some not. I had grown so used to it that I was giving the word “love” the same weight and importance as every other word in the sentence.
Then I started to really consider what this all meant. Love should not be given the same weight as every other word you speak. People are using love as a simple utterance and are beginning to forget that it is not just a word; it is a concept, an idea, and a powerful and meaningful force that affects how people live their lives every day.
I started to compare my generation with the generation before us—our parents, teachers and mentors. Do we ever hear them use the word love all the time? I do not. They use it when they truly feel this emotion, this passionate feeling meant to touch and convey the deepest affection and adoration. It is an idea they only express to those they want to touch with their genuine feelings.
Why has our generation begun to use the word love so abundantly? Why are we throwing it out so generously without thinking what it actually means for the people involved? Of course, there are different types of love, from the love you feel for your friends as opposed to the love for your family, to the love you feel romantically. It feels like we are just pushing them all together. In my opinion, love is not about imagining your life without that other person. A person you love completes you, at least during that particular time in your life, and when they are gone, something, maybe even something small, is missing.
Love is one of the most important and powerful ideas, words and emotional pangs discovered in our crazy and unpredictable time on Earth. If nothing else, through anger, stubbornness, sadness and intense frustration, love emerges as something to keep you dreaming, wishing and hoping. It can make a person do insane yet beautiful things. However, the liberalness with which this word is used crept onto me like an annoying and almost sad realization. If we continue using the word as we do now, what will the word mean 10 years from now?
It will be harder to discover, recognize and discern the emotion from all of the other generic ones we feel every day. I also think it will be more difficult to find within ourselves. The word will bring with it confusion, a generality that will just grow difficult to reverse. You may be thinking, “Well, it is just a word, the actual feeling is different. Just by throwing the word around doesn’t mean I don’t truly feel it at the times when it is important.”
However, in my experience, by using the word more often then not and at generic times, I myself have even become confused as to what it actually means to me, and I have a feeling that this is happening to people around me. So I urge you to preserve the idea of love, and truly think about when you are saying it and why. Although it doesn’t seem so now, as time goes on we could lose our grasp on the idea of love. We might not be able to discern when we feel love and when we do not, and if we lose that, I think we will lose an extremely important part of ourselves.
Though love itself is extremely confusing and nebulous, we should be able to realize it inside of ourselves before we allow it to change us. Let love do its job. Do not go looking for it, or try to place it in a situation where it may not belong. Instead, let it find you, discover you, overcome you and change you in the way it’s meant to.
Filed Under: Features