Love, As A Word

“The human mind is generally more eager to praise and dispraise than to describe and define.”

C. S. Lewis


We live in a world where definition remains unstudied, descriptions vary incessantly, and closed interpretation is feared. In this world, I consider the word, and meaning of, “love”.

The English word “love” is so meaningful, yet contains far too many interpretations and facets. The Greeks, I believe, were more intuitive when it came to love. They created the difference between a friendship love, an affectionate love, an intimate love, and the many others. How did they do this? By definition, by creating a conglomeration of descriptive words instead of using just one “mean all, be all”. We however, have just the one word. One word to describe numerous feelings.

This unfortunate and much too broad formation of this language/wording has distinct consequences. One, it creates misunderstandings on the common level. Two, it is a catalyst to the societal plunge into emotional confusion. Three, its meanings then take on a lesser, and more dull, form.

The dilemma of using the word “love” for such an extensive range of emotions, feelings, and thoughts, may be compared to a man who is hired to paint a mountain sunset, but only allowed the color red to paint with. It is patently clear that such a man, try as he might, would end up with only a red shape upon the parchment. No definition of substance could be made, no trees or rocks or animals or snow would be apparent. Indeed, even the sun may turn out indiscernible. Such is the case with “love”. How can we paint its picture without something more?

Expression is linked to understanding. And understanding is linked to knowledge and definition. It is no wonder then that the American cannot express love. We have been only given red paint to work with.

But I speak of the concept. And I have no formed solution.


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