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Every individual at a point in their lifetime has encountered love, whether they have loved or were loved. Love is one significant thing that brings a commonality within the human race. Love is a passionate and tender affection towards another individual, material things, or animals. The more we try to find a universal definition of love, the more confusion we get from all the diverse meanings based on different cultures, individual perspectives, and settings. When people think they are closing in on the true definition of this term, they might get to realize that it poses a different meaning to another: Definitions of love are thus categorized as conceptual, religious, romantic, and fraternal; love is also classified as a weakness and strength.
Definitions of Love
Loyalty. Respect, warmth, desire, passion, devotion, and affection are ways of describing love. It does not matter which term is applied since they are all forms of love. Generally, love is a unique feeling of desire, adoration, and respect towards an object or an individual (Lanas and Zembylas 35). Conceptual love is an affection for characteristics, ideas, and material things. The feelings people have for things like flowers and jewellery. It is also the love towards personality traits like humour and kindness.
In a religious setting, love can be defined as "Godly": this is whereby God shows his affection to humans by giving them emotions to share with others. Consequently, human beings love God for the beautiful things He bestows upon them. Our devotion to the Almighty proves love in the form of worship. The love created by respecting others is similar to the love we have for our families, elders, and friends.
The Romeo and Juliet narrative is a perfect definition of romantic love between different genders. The term "romance," has been applied in several ways to demonstrate affection and love between Romeo and Juliet. Today, individuals who attract each other in a romantic setting, show their love for one another by sending words of love, gifts, and cards among many other things. The expression of love changes materially, but the emotion remains constant(Lanas and Zembylas 36). Couples find love through frequent communications with each other, affection, and sex. The human evolution is seen through the love between Adam and Eve. This type of love often relies on some "chemistry": the weird 'butterfly' like feelings that one gets in their stomach and the belief that nothing in the universe is as important as spending time together.
Love is also defined as fraternal which is the love between close people and families. For instance, the love of a mother to a child, which is quite strong since it originates from instincts to protect the child. This love usually begins even before giving birth: it is evident from the expectant mother's excitement and pride to the scans and the fetus movement and heartbeat. A child can also experience this type of love for the mother; it tends to be unconditional for the early years of infancy and is felt between siblings and friends as well(Lanas and Zembylas 37).
Characteristics of Love
In the psychological area, love has a dual character since it shapes the individual's personality from two stands: one is that it brings dependence and misbalance on the person's presence in life as well as their surroundings. The second part offers adoration, harmony, and happiness for the given "object" of love as well as the environment. In simple terms, love is a weakness and is also the strength of an individual's consciousness (Kanter et al. 70)
Love is a Weakness
The first part of the definition portrays that love is a weakness. When regarding an individual's psychological well-being, love leads to dependence and an imbalance on those who are loved (Kanter et al. 71). One cannot imagine living without their treasured "object," and the mood is dependent on the capability of interacting with the "object." An individual begins to experience fear of ever losing the significant other, at times the need to perfect things leads to unnecessary quarrels, thoughts, and actions. The disadvantage of love is the impossibility of living a "happy" life since it constrains one from being a harmonic personality in the absence of their lovers. For example, if an individual put in several efforts in pleasing their significant others, if the thought of something is happening to their relationship ever crosses his/her mind, it tends to tear their heart, and this is the downside of love.
Love is Strength
The second part of loves' definition conveys that it is an individual's psychological strength. Through this statement, we assume that it strengthens an individual by harmonizing the personality or by creating a persistent flow of positive sentiments. This part of love works with one's self-acquisition (Kanter et al. 71). It is hence vital since people tend to be closed systems on their own and love brings a connection between two or more people, opening this system and making it complete. For example, when an individual experiences the particular feeling of desire, adoration, respect, attachment, and affection for another, their psychological state tends to be generally stable. This stability happens since the individual tends to put much of their focus on their significant other, a pet, or an object and receives plenty of positive vibes when interacting with them. These feelings are always good stimuli for any activity. While the individuals tend to extend the emotional harmony, they turn out to be psychologically mature to take certain responsible steps needed to be with their loved "object." Therefore, love means the utilization of the individuals' psychological resources and this is why humans do love, and at times end up doing things that are not normal.
Love is an emotion explored in literature, religion, and philosophy, often as either the love of God, the fraternal love, or romantic love. These definitions of love are similar but different. For instance, Godly, is God's love, and one's respect and devotion towards the highest God. In every religious culture, the aspect of God is equal. Romantic love; love between two individuals that is perceived to be both sexual and intimate. Then there is fraternal love which is the love for a person's relatives and family like brother-sister love, and generally the people close to us like friends. Indeed love is a weakness and strength as well with all its effects it has on humans. There are two sides in love: the black and the white, whereby the end of the other influences the onset of another. The fact is that it is a tremendously difficult term to define and is one of those words which generally undergo continuous analysis and arguments. We get a lot from love as it takes a lot from us as well. Perhaps this is how the balance of the universe is attained.
Kanter, Jonathan W., Gareth Holman, and Kelly G. Wilson. "Where is the love? Contextual behavioral science and behavior analysis." Journal of Contextual Behavioral Science 3.2 (2014): 69-73. Accessed from https://depts.washington.edu/uwcssc/sites/default/files/Kanter%2C%20Holman%2C%20%26%20Wilson%20%282014%29.pdf
Lanas, Maija, and Michalinos Zembylas. "Towards a transformational political concept of love in critical education." Studies in Philosophy and Education 34.1 (2015): 31-44. doi:10.1007/s11217-014-9424-5
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