I have to admit, sometimes the state of the hearts and minds around me in the world discourages me. A few weeks ago we were doing an exercise in our script writing class about themes. It was close to the deadline for our submission and we had to go around and summarize our project in one word, giving the overall theme of the story. The teacher said, “When people walk out of the building after seeing this what are they going to say it was about?”
As we went around the room answers came out like Mortality, Jealousy, Revenge, Happiness, but then one of them really made me think. One of my classmates said something like, “Okay. This is going to sound cheesy. But the closest word I have toward describing the theme of mine is Love. But it’s not it’s better than Love. It’s selfless, like self-sacrificing and mature. It’s adoring and relentless. Nothing is too challenging that would make my character give up.” And I just sat there thinking, how is that better than love? That is love.
It makes me sad that my classmate had to say that. Had to clarify that, no, it’s not love. It’s this better thing that I can’t think of a name for. When really, from the start that is exactly what love was meant to be. The common definition of love these days by so many is, “A shallow obsession. A trick of chemicals. Fluffy, false, and unrealistic.” It has been simplified to the definition that mere infatuation gets. A short-lived emotion.
Sorry everyone, but that’s not love.
It doesn’t matter how in-love you are. You are not going to feel all lovey-dovey towards them 24/7. Does that then mean you don’t love them? Of course not. Cause guess what? *raises hand* Love is not an emotion. It’s deeper than an emotion. It’s a state. For example. Someone who is joyful doesn’t go around grinning at everyone nonstop, all day, every day. Joy is a mindset and contentment with the life that you’re living. But that’s a completely different topic for another post at another time.
Love. Allow me to clarify.
Love is patient, kind, does not envy or boast, and is not proud. It does not dishonor others or keep a record of wrongs and is not self-seeking or easily angered. It does not delight in evil but rejoices in truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails. (For more on this see 1 Corinthians 13.)
Now that is a rather extensive list. But there is nothing fluffy, shallow, and obsessive about that. So I guess this is just a side note for my classmate here. When you said the closest word to your theme was Love you were right. Because what you said sounded an awful lot like what love was meant to be.
Don’t settle for simplifying something meant to be extraordinary.