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love in our society

According to Joseph Campbell, who while being a myth of a man was also an authoritative man of myths, love as we know it in the western world, romantic love, was first characterized by the troubadours of the middle ages who spread the myth of Tristan and Isolde. These two represented the shift from love necessarily being ordained by the community, by parents, and by the church under the eyes of god to love being shared intimacy, knowing eyes, and indescribable bonds between two people. Such as it is, love is true in all forms.

From The Ancients
The feeling that love hurts goes back as far as Hinduism. The Hindu god of love, Kama, is like Cupid insofar as he shoots arrows. Far from cherubic, Kama shoots arrows that have names such as, “disturbance,” “destruction,” “dessication.”

After a short reflection, that we use the word “crush” to describe the earliest stage of falling in love seems so apt.

The Four Loves

In 1960 CS Lewis wrote “The Four Loves,” describing love as:

  1. agape for love of strangers
  2. storge for love of family
  3. eros for love of romance
  4. philia for love of friends

In a time when we are coming together to spread love there is no limit to the audiences we can address because everyone experiences love.

The Five Love Languages

No matter when he first wrote the book, Gary Chapman’s “The Five Love Languages,” is resonant today. Coffee shops and sidewalks are abuzz with talk about the languages, they are:

  1. acts of service
  2. gift-giving
  3. physical touch
  4. quality time
  5. words of affirmation

Sending a Valentine’s Day card is speaking the language of gift-giving. More than a gift, it can be a starting point to speaking more languages. Delivered during a home-cooked dinner, they mix in with acts of service and quality time. Sent with a handwritten note inside, the card pairs with words of affirmation. Finally, how many cards come with a smooch?