TO MISTAKE LOVE
“To be deceived about love is the most dreadful loss, it is an eternal loss, for which there is no compensation either in time or in eternity.” That is to say, the most horrendous deprivation, which, if not rectified, finds no remedy either in this life or in the future.
Kierkegaard penned these words more than a century and a half ago. But they have lost none of their value or validity. On the contrary, they are more vivid and current than when they were written.
Undoubtedly, as at any other time in history, in the present there are great loves. Strong and deep loves, juicy and enthusiastic, noble and ennobling for all those who profess them, who are many.
Love will never be banished from humanity, for it constitutes the greatness and the primary need of any man or woman: even when we are not aware of needing it.
Loving more and better is the only possible way to grow as people and, consequently, to be happy. That is why, as in any other era, love is alive today as well. Love will never be banished from humanity: it constitutes the primary need of any man or woman.
DECEPTION IN LOVE
But, unfortunately, that is not the whole picture. It is not what floats in the air and what we often notice in our environment. Nor is it what the media or social networks or much of the trendy essays and literature bring to the forefront.
And, perhaps, not without reason.
If we pay attention to these and other sources of information, we would have to maintain that in the contemporary world there is an abundance, in the first place, of betrayals of the love of those we claim to love: that is to say, what we could qualify as deceptions and failures in love.
– Inability to commit, infidelity or lack of loyalty between spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, friends, partners, colleagues, neighbors…
– Emptiness, indifference, mutual bearing, routine cohabitation, divorces, separations, breakups, physical or psychological aggression, different types of violence…
– Abandonment of grandparents and, in general, of elderly or sick people, in places where “they will be better cared for than at home”….
– Detachment and disaffection of children from parents and vice versa, and of siblings and other family members from each other….
– Neglect of people who are not profitable from an economic and labor point of view, who are thus ignored, marginalized or excluded from the society that should welcome them….
In the contemporary world, deceptions and failures in love abound.
DECEPTIONS “ABOUT LOVE”
And that’s not all.
There is something even more decisive and determining and much more difficult to admit in a civilization that considers itself super-developed, and in particular as far as knowledge is concerned.
In large sectors of today’s society, the very meaning of love, what it means when it is understood correctly, seems to have been lost.
And this influences knowledge and life itself.
– Many of us do not know well what it is to love.
– And, as a consequence, we do not know how to love, or at least not to the degree and with the finesse with which we should.
Many of us do not know well what love is and, as a consequence, we do not know how to love, at least not with the intensity and delicacy with which we should.
PROSTITUTION OF TERMS
But there is even more.
Not only is the meaning of love unknown, but the term has been distorted and almost perverted or prostituted. With relative assiduity, that which we call love is presented as a point of reference:
– A sort of diffuse and soft sentimentality, incapable of fulfilling even the legitimate yearnings of an adolescent.
– Or the merely physical treatment, as in the now impoverished phrase of lovemaking.
An expression that is at the antipodes of its primitive meaning: that of conquering a person or courting him or her nobly, growing and helping him or her to develop as a person. And that it is also alien to the marvelous and deepest sense of building together, on a daily basis, the love of an entire existence: of building it and giving it life, particularly in marriage.
It is a colossal and enormously widespread ignorance or deception about love, about its nature and deepest meaning.
In our days, the very meaning of love, what it properly means, seems to have disappeared.