By Chidi Emmanuel
It is a four-letter word that has a lot more than its dictionary meaning as it cuts across race, religion, culture and tradition. A lot has been said about love. Some say love is blind, while others say it is not blind but rather - it sees more but chooses to see less as it ignores others. All clerics preach about love but few people explore the intricacies of love. Ordinarily, one must be in love - for one thing or the other. No matter who you are, there must be something that is so dear to you.
It may be your girlfriend, boyfriend, mother, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, pet, car, mobile phone etc. Some even go as far as 'dying' for their religion, beliefs or leaders all in the name of 'love.' To some people, it is a game for the youth why some see love as part of life. We tend to use love to describe a diverse range of feelings and pleasures: "I love my car," "We made love," "I love you."
Greek and Latin terminology divides love into several different words that describe each type of love: Eros - Sexual Love, Ludis- Flirtatious Love, Philo -Brotherly Love, Storge- Friendship Love, Pragma - Logical Love, Mania - Smothering Love and Agape - Divine Love. Although several types of love play an important role in marriage, it is the agape love that acts as the "relationship glue". Agape love is often described as a self-sacrificing love and an altruistic love that is experienced by people willing to do things for one another with no expectations. In marriage, agape love is a commitment to your spouse, even when you don't feel like it.
Prince, a sociologist, thinks that "For the married couples, one key to establishing and maintaining agape love in your relationship is mutual giving. If both partners choose to offer self-sacrificing love, both will receive it." He added, "Perfect love is rare indeed - to be a lover will require that you continually have the subtlety of the very wise, the flexibility of the child, the sensitivity of the artist, the understanding of the philosopher, the acceptance of the saint, the tolerance of the scholar and the fortitude of the convinced."
Others have a different view of how love could differ from one country to another. "Love in the western world is different from what we call love here. Here, we only admire and keep our feelings within us. While driving along the Gulf Road, we do make love advances in our own little way and style (honking, flashing lights and smiling). People see it as an immoral and illicit thing in this part of the world but sometimes we respond to the call of nature by appreciating them (beautiful girls)," Rafiq, a Kuwait University student said. Many notable people have remarked a lot about love. According to Mother Theresa: "There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread." Even Albert Einstein, one of the greatest scientific minds, said about love: "Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love."
A lot of positive and negative things have been said about L-O-V-E, but if we discovered that we had only a few minutes left to say all that we wanted to say, every telephone booth, cell phones would be occupied by people calling spouses and family to stammer "I-L-O-V-E YOU, I'M MISSING YOU." Some people dread love because of their past disappointments in life. But for me, love fails only when we fail to love. It is not just looking at each other but it is all about looking in the same direction.