After all, is There Anything like Love?
It is uncommon for me to write about love. Most people will start thinking like I am getting infatuated by some las somewhere. But let me simply say that some issues are better left unraveled because later on we often find that we simply overthought. So leave it at that if you care so much about your mental health. Nevertheless I must admit that to love and be loved should be a great thing.
My Ugandan father, the legendary Austin Bukenya, confirmed that being loved and loving is an adorable thing in his weekly column with the Saturday nation a few weeks ago. I read the article and couldn’t help it but explore the topic too. And like I have always promised myself from the beginning, I will strictly write about my opinions in relation to love and humanity.
For a few weeks now I have been doing some short survey on love. I used interviews a lot as well as social media. One of the platforms I explored was WhatsApp. Of all the material I have shared through the platform over that period, I have realized that there is a large population of us who believe there is nothing like love. The good news though is that there are many of us also who believe that there is. So what do the numbers say, is there anything like love?
It will disappoint to note that in overall, a huge number of the people believed that there is nothing like love. This translated to about 52% of the total respondents. Some thought that love is overrated and others believed that love is a thing manipulated by hormones. It is all in the mind. Of course there is some science in matters to do with love but I won’t go that direction. Sometimes, for those who agreed, the love feelings could not be explained. They took it to be some spontaneous thing that could equate to divine manipulation.
I received one response that was full of scorn. The respondent had this pessimistic attitude because as I discovered later, she had been in a struggling relationship for some time. To make matters worse, she had been left with one child in her care. This made her bitter with the male cream and to her love is for the birds.
I could not connect the dots because to this lady, her child is everything. She loves him very well. He is the world to her. I could not marry the idea of loving a child dearly and hating the father of the child with passion. Unfortunately, it does happen often. The only worry I have is the understanding we have about love in totality.
A younger friend believed that being in love as some people say is just a matter of convenience. Funny enough, an older friend believed otherwise. Even Prof. Bukenya can agree that it is never a matter of convenience. The thing to do with love is that it is deeply rational. There is the love between a parent and their child. There is love between family members. The other love is in our communities. One that gives us the feeling of belonging. Then there is the love that simply happens between a man and woman. It is what we often call eros.
The later seems more controversial than the others. It is the love I realized most of us wonder if it does exist. And to explain it, there must be a foundational understanding developed by the other forms of love. Their sheer existence is a means for the eros type to develop. This is the secret to getting to understand love and its dynamics.
Psychologists have always told us that when a child is raised up in an abusive family, there is a likelihood of this child becoming abusive in their own relationships or marriage. In lieu of this aspect, we can agree that parental love to children is critical to the success of their love generally to the opposite sex. Not just that, but even to other friends of the same sex. This is a very critical principle to the development of love which is treated very casually nowadays. It is the pillar for the success of families, relationships and societies.
What of the love that exists in our societies? Let us take for example a situation where there is a community of people who encourage the aspect of sharing. Young people will be sharing what they have with each other as a result of the love that gets to be cultivated in them. The bond of community teaches them the value of giving unconditionally which when developed over time enables them to understand the need for sharing.
This is of very great value because we can only give what we have. Giving it willingly takes another level of development. So when a lot of us believe there is nothing like love, it could be that we don’t have the love ourselves. Secondly it could mean that we weren’t fashioned to share from our early days. To love actually is caring. Caring is giving and sharing. We therefore don’t blame ourselves for our love growing cold. We have to start to repair the bridges with all the other loves and then we can see our relationships blossoming, families happy and communities enjoying in unity.
It doesn’t take one form of love to solve the problem of humanity and charity. It takes an interconnection and an interdependence of all the other loves to develop each other. Once that is done, then we will see as much love as we will experience.
It is true that love does really exist. If we can believe that love does not exist, then we cannot say that we believe God exists. If you are an atheist, and you believe that love does not exist, you should go and live alone in a far distant area. I mean in complete solitude. That is when we can make sense of what love is. True love in all totality.
I know that love exists. I love daily. I am loved daily. And most importantly I know there is divine nature in love. Simple. It is not a story of some woman taking my heart captive, although there is nothing wrong with it, rather it is about building resilient and inclusive communities. Making ourselves human once again. I love you my readers, you have been very supportive to me to this far. Keep the love burning because when we stop loving, we stop living.
Copyright @ 2018.