Lesson 46: Love is not a word that should ever be taken lightly

“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”  I don’t know who came up with that saying, but it is easily among the dumbest I have ever heard.  I understand that it is an attempt to teach people to not let the hurtful words of others have a negative impact, but I believe lying to yourself about how they make you feel is potentially far more dangerous.  And if ever there was a word that could cause just as much harm as it is able to bring about good, it is the word “Love.”

If used properly and with honesty and integrity, this word is silk to ears.  It is warmth to the heart and soul.  It is a contract that creates an understanding, one way or another, between people.  Used improperly or with malicious intent, it can lead to heartbreak and emotional, maybe even physical, devastation.  It is not enough to understand what it means to you.  You need to learn what it means to others as well.  I like to believe that everyone has the capacity for empathy and compassion, but that does not mean everyone will exercise these concepts.  Love can be turned into a tool of selfishness so you need to learn to identify when and how you allow others to use this word with you.

Don’t get me wrong, love is a fantastic word.  This is not an attack on the word and it most certainly is not a negative perception on the word’s meaning.  All I am saying is that it is a word that requires careful thought and consideration.  In all honesty, I believe that “Love” is the most important word in human existence.  It is a word that can mean the same thing while meaning something completely different to whoever is using it.  It is a never ending adventure.  An ongoing philosophy.  It can mean anything to anyone while also meaning the same thing to everyone.  There is no right or wrong answer.  There is only what you believe and what it means to you.  To me, it means the world. 

I firmly believe love is essential to anyone’s survival.  We are a social species and the reason we are where we are today is due to a history of collaboration and the power of love to triumph over anything that has ever challenged our survival.  It is, in my opinion, the most powerful word in human history.  Nations have risen and fallen because of it, wars have been fought over it, and people throughout history have lived and died in the name of it.  When you think about the word, it is truly remarkable.  The only way to understand it is to give it long and hard consideration and to determine what it means to you.  No one else can do that for you.  It is also constantly evolving.

It doesn’t matter what Webster’s dictionary says, Their definition does not have to be yours and it is not likely going to be what everyone else defines it as either.   It takes on a slightly different meaning to everyone.  It is important that you define what it means to you and the value you place on it.  It is so much more than just a word.  It is a philosophy.  It is an ideology.  It is a concept that people live their life by.  The word gets thrown around these days so loosely that it starts to lose its value.  When you love something, you are saying that thing means enough to you that, without it, you feel like a lesser being.  Laugh or joke all you want.  Words have power and “Love,” in my opinion, is the most powerful of them all.  Treat it with care.  Apply it to the things that matter most.

Takeaways:

  1. Any word can be used harmfully.
  2. Love is the most powerful and most dangerous word I know.
  3. It doesn’t mean the same thing to everyone that uses it.
  4. Only you can define and decide what it means to you.
  5. Love is essential to human survival.

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