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August 04 , 2008

Love is Everywhere 365 Ways to Live a Life of Love

A Little Book of Large Value


Love. Love. Love. I love you. I love you a lot. I love you more every day. I love you when you do that. I love your tie. I love your hair. I love that color. No, I don’t love you anymore. What is going on? The wisest and most sophisticated scholars, writers, songwriters, and historians have tried to explain what love really is. “What is this thing called love?” one song asks. The prince gave up the English throne for love. People get married because they are in love and get divorced because they are not in love any longer. Do they know what they are doing? Do they really know about love? We hear that there is love of one’s self. There is love of family. There is love of little children. There is love of our friends and associates. There is love of the sick and needy. Our neighbors and friends talk about and show love. Community organizations talk about and work for acts of love. Public officials talk about and show love by what they say and what they do for us. Of course, there certainly is love of one’s country. By the way that love wends its way through our daily lives and the love of others, is the meaning of love only in the eyes of those who see it? Or is love a true miracle? Can we learn love by observing others? Perhaps. Some people confuse love with acts of lust or passion. It might be a word to express certain random or planned acts. Maybe so. Acts of love can be spontaneous. Love and acts of love can pop up in unusual places. Love really shows up in many things that we do, but we do not consider them to be love. We feel that it is “just what we do.” The Hebrew language recognizes shalom as a word for “peace” just as the Arabic language recognizes salaam as “peace.” Peace is surely a practical word for the practice of love. To fulfill the interest of sharing love, life and happiness, it is traditional to agree to a legal relationship of marriage between two individuals. Unfortunately, there may come a time when the individuals find that their feeling and acts of love may not be enough to support the relationship. The end can and will result in a legal divorce compounded with long lasting multiple effects on both each person and on others. Perhaps they did not know enough about love and a real loving relationship. Grounds for a divorce in marriage can include desertion, cruelty, adultery, “differences,” substance abuse, violence, instability, neglect, or endangerment. No one claims that there is too much love. “Freedom” can cost less than $500. Having a divorce can cause issues of religion, spousal and child support, child custody, the sale of .property, changes in finances, living arrangements, jobs, schedules, and adjustments for the dependent children. All these are in spite of a solemn promise to love, honor, and obey. Rational behavior is not required. In its trail, divorce can affect parent-child relationships, children’s feelings of anger, depression, and embarrassment, resulting in their reduced school performance, delinquency, truancy, substance abuse, and disturbing behavior. About half of first marriages end in divorce in a few years. A second try at marriage can follow soon after. There are books on how to make war, destroy people, and how to get rich. But I never saw a simple book to explain love, a secret ingredient of life for all living creatures. Now there is one. Recently, there appeared on cyberspace undocumented definitions of love as provided by very young children. A group of professional people asked a group of four- to eight-year-olds, “What does love mean?” The answers they gave seemed to be more concerned with real life than what many adults would have immediately imagined to be love. The twenty-one definitions from the children are in part 1 of this document. To go further into this project, I submitted the responses in part 1 to adults, asking them to also add their definitions of love. Part 2 consists of 344 “adult” d
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