This is the question that we got today in my Spanish class - in 5 minutes - in our daily written exercise, I had to answer this question. This is what I put, translated from Spanish:
Love is a decision. You must decide to love someone. Loving someone means that you would make any sacrifice for that loved one. Loving someone also means that you give them the power to hurt you more than any other person. Not having love results in an incomplete person. No one can live without love. Well, there are some types of love. The first I can think of is the love between family members and friends, which is called “filio.” The second is eros love, which is love between lovers; it is romantic love. Finally, there is the agape type of love, which is the perfect love. Love certainly exists, but I think that today there are not enough people who know what love is and what it means to be responsible and sacrifice your life for someone else’s.
I was a bit frantic when writing this, since it’s posted on an online discussion board for the rest of the class to see (though I doubt most people don’t creep on others’ thoughts). However, I did have the delight of discussing with my partner what she had written on the matter, which is briefly translated here, with care because I don’t want to reveal identities or do plagiarism:
I’ve never loved anyone. I have loved my family and friends but it’s never been more deep than that. I think love is overrated because it means that whatever you love is too important to you. It’s going to hurt you because you’re going to think about it too much. I don’t want to love if this is love. I think that life is more simple when you don’t have anyone to worry about except yourself.
I honestly can’t go on. That brief stuff right there, with the last sentence being word for word translated, just got me. I couldn’t talk with someone who thinks this way. I can understand how some girls can get jaded about love and thinking about romantic love being overrated (it is, in the Hollywood sense of love), but really? Life is simpler when you care about only yourself? Also, when talking to her, I said that of course she’s experienced love from family and friends and apparently that doesn’t count because “everyone has that, which means it’s not special.”
I was speechless. A life without love is emptiness. I am sure that she realizes that the love her family and friends have for her is important, but this individualistic attitude is precisely why society is falling apart. If we do not care about each other or care to love each other, because it hurts too much or it takes too much out of us, what kind of a world would we live in? A selfish, cruel world, that’s what.
I had a reaction to what she said – I said, “So you’re saying that since all of us have food, it’s not that special and we don’t need it to live?” She responded defensively, as if I didn’t understand. Maybe I didn’t. I’d like to think that I didn’t. I’d like to think that her life is full of love, and she’s open to more love always. That might be wishful thinking, though.
We need more love, everyone. Just give it away, give all your love away and you’ll get it back one hundred fold. I don’t have a sure fire way of getting that done, but if Jesus gave us his life out of love and we get salvation as the result of it, think of what you can do by trying to love as he did.
Let’s work some miracles, everyone.