Edds: What is love? (Baby don’t hurt me)

Devin Edds

After sitting through a church sermon about the qualities of love and forgiveness, I began to notice the way people act toward one another.

From this sermon, I learned love is willing to wait instead of demanding. Love doesn’t hate. Love doesn’t brag. Love isn’t stuck up. Love lets others have their turn. Love doesn’t insist on getting all the credit. Love doesn’t lose its temper. Love doesn’t hold grudges. Love doesn’t keep thinking over and over again about how someone hurt you. Love looks out for the interests of others. Love keeps on expecting the best. Love doesn’t give up.

Society has compromised these views on love. On a college campus, the hardest thing to do is accept everyone you meet. Coming from a small town, I know that judging others comes more than easily to us as human beings. We are attracted to those most similar to us. We seek out likenesses in the world around us. These likenesses or commonalities we find are what cause us to form friendships, relationships, acquaintances, etc.

This trait of judging those we meet continues with us as we make our way into the world on our own. While universities usually bring together people from all different aspects of life, it is the sole individual that must choose to accept the differences we find.

The traditional definition of love used to entail a “strong affection” or “admiration” of another — the “unselfish concern for the good of another.” In today’s world, Society has created a new view on love. This is the definition of “attraction based on sexual desire” or the very act of “copulation.”

Love no longer means peace, friendship, hope, faith and trust — all emotional things. Love now is now presented in an ultimately physical way. Love used to mean doing things out of the kindness of our hearts in order to help those around us. Love fostered tolerance. Love understood that people are unique — each of us is in our own way. Society today claims that love is now the act of engaging in physical matters rather than matters of the heart.

What is it that has created this change? A shift in our standards as human beings? A decline in the importance of religion on our daily lives? A complete revision of the way we think and view ourselves? Whichever way, there has been an immense loss of love in our society.

Where has the love gone? Will it ever return?

The word has become easier to say, but has lost all meaning. The media has changed the way it portrays the very sense of the word. This occurs in commercials, the values presented in common TV shows, the stories reported on the news and the press coverage we all see on a daily basis. The public and society would rather hear about the latest sex scandal than the latest heroic deed. These are common facts we all experience in our daily lives.

When looking out into the world, one should expect diversity, and one should look forward to such diversity. Instead, we form cliches. We hate; we outcast. The world is full of people who come from all different backgrounds, adversities and challenges. So why should one judge based upon appearance? Upon social or financial stance? Upon race, creed, nationality, gender or beliefs?

Why must we despise someone just because they are different? Why must we even acknowledge the mere fact that someone is different?

It’s psychological. The way we’re programmed — scientifically speaking; we search for others like us. On a moral stand, we do so because society wants us to. We live to find meaning. We live to have purpose. How can we have purpose without this love?

Love must find a way back into our hearts. Love must allow us once again to accept those around us because; without this love, our successes as a species will be all for nothing. Love is for each individual to decide. However, without the traditional sense of the word, our world would fall into utter chaos, thus leaving us wondering if there ever were love to begin with.