100,000 Views! And the Meaning of Love, Via Harper Lee

My friends and I were discussing whether saying the phrase "I love you" to a stranger could be considered creepy... I do not intend to be creepy here. Promise.

100,000 views! When I saw that statistic exactly two weeks ago, I was ecstatic. And I still am! It’s not that the views themselves matter that much, it’s more that all the effort I’ve put into this blog has accumulated into an actual, tangible result. Of course I don’t ever think that writing on this blog is a tedious task – trust me, I would write all the time if I could, as it allows me to learn more about myself as well as receive feedback from others. Thank you so much to all of my regular readers, especially those who comment! I appreciate lurkers too, as I know how busy this time of the year can be.

Speaking of business, I must apologize again for my not-so-regular posting lately! I have been swamped in schoolwork and studying for exams and being busy with other obligations – my views haven’t been taking too much of a hit, but I know that to keep readers and new followers interested I’ll need to blog more regularly than I have been. Which I will work on. I also should write more about pop, as I’ve been neglecting that lately. It’s too bad everyone is already aware of how awesome Adele is…

Now, on to love. Here’s a passage from Harper Lee’s beautifully-written essay on love, titled “Love–In Other Words.” I strongly recommend you read it, or at least this part:

“What is love? Many things are love–indeed, love is present in pity, compassion, romance, affection. What made the Duke of Kent’s statement a declaration of love, and what makes us perform without second thought small acts of love every day of our lives, is an element conspicuous by its absence. Were it present, the Duke of Kent would have left his mistress without a pang; the sound barrier breaking over her head would not rouse the mother; sinking his putt would be the primary aim of the golfer; the housewife would go straight to the store with no thought of her neighbour. One thing identifies love and isolates it from kindred emotions: love admits not of self.

Few of us achieve compassion; to some of us romance is a word; in many of us the ability to feel affection has long since died; but all of us at one time or another- be it for an instant or for our lives- have departed from ourselves: we have loved something or someone. Love, then is a paradox: to have it, we must give it. Love is not an intransitive thing – ­love is a direct action of mind and body.

Without love, life is pointless and dangerous. Man is on his way to Venus, but he still hasn’t learned to live with his wife. Man has succeeded in increasing his life span, yet he exterminates his brothers six million at a whack. Man now has the power to destroy himself and his planet: depend upon it, he will – should he cease to love.

(in the conclusion of the essay…)

Love purifies. Suffering never purified anybody; suffering merely intensifies the self-directed drives within us. Any act of love, however–no matter how small–lessens anxiety’s grip, gives us a taste of tomorrow, and eases the yoke of our fears. Love, unlike virtue, is not its own reward. The reward of love is peace of mind, and peace of mind is the end of man’s desiring.”
 

Dang. It’s too bad Harper Lee never wrote another novel – she is one of my idols, and this essay exemplifies why. She captures the true meaning of love perfectly: that to love someone is to be willing to sacrifice your own well-being for them. And that love, in the end, has the power to purge mankind of its sin and its suffering.

I consider myself a reasonably romantic guy, yet it pains to me to see so many people sad on Valentine’s Day. I’m actually not much of a Valentine’s Day kind of guy – maybe because my dad’s birthday is on the same day and my mom’s birthday the day after – but I do believe that one should not feel depressed solely because they don’t have a significant other to spend the day with. Love will come for everyone eventually, as long as they are not afraid to be their true selves and be who they want to be.

To me, it’s pretty simple – taking a step back from loving being a transitive action and alleviating anxiety and what not – love is finding someone who you really respect and admire and appreciate, and someone who has similar values or interests or beliefs as you. It’s about being with someone you care about, and having that care returned without a cost.

What do you guys think of love? Before you ask, no, I’ve never been in love myself, but I have and do love, and I’m confident that the things up there are what love is truly about. Agree? Disagree? See you guys next time!

PS: Here’s a song by Alicia Keys about love that I love:

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5 Comments

Filed under Personal

5 responses to “100,000 Views! And the Meaning of Love, Via Harper Lee

  1. Congrats on your 1,000th century, what a milestone!

  2. Agree! I love you too Thomas!(You’re not being creepy, I know where you’re coming from:) This post has made my day, it did. Love manifests in so many ways but within its foundation lies caring and understanding. Love can be complicated but at the same time so simple. It is a powerful force and has the ability compel us to do whatever we must for the things and the ones we care the most about. Love allows us to see past barriers and straight into a person for what he or she really is, to see the best in people and what they can become, and with love comes forgiveness. I, too, have never been in love in that way but from what I’ve heard it must be wonderful.

    … love is finding someone who you really respect and admire and appreciate, and someone who has similar values or interests or beliefs as you. It’s about being with someone you care about, and having that care returned without a cost.

    Well said! To me love represents all of what is good in the world and if people can put aside differences and just loved one another Earth would be a better place.
    I thoroughly enjoyed Harper Lee’s essay and I must agree she touched on what love means but some of what it really is still remains a mystery, if you know what I mean. It’s actually a coincidence that you’ve mentioned H. Lee because I’ve began her To Kill a Mockingbird a few days ago though I’m not that far into the book as yet, page 38, but I like it so far.
    Thanks for sharing and I hope your studies are coming along well ;)

    • Yes, the world would be a much better place if we could all just cast aside our differences and love one another – unfortunately, that is too idealistic at this point to be achieved easily, though we can strive toward that goal. I’m a few months late on replying to this comment, so I apologize for that, and I hope you are enjoying To Kill a Mockingbird if you have not finished it yet!

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