Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What Does Love Mean To You?

As I stood at the entrance to a non-denominational chapel, one that welcomed people of all ages and of all walks of life, I warmly greeted each person that entered and randomly I asked, "What does love mean to you?"

A young mother holding her 5 year old child's hand replied, "I love my child unconditionally and I have since she was born." "Yes," added a grandmother of about 65 years of age with a broad smile as she listened to the young mother. "And I feel unconditional love for my grandchildren as well."

Just then two young lovers walked through the door hand in hand, and when asked what love means to them, answered sheepishly, "It's a sense of intimacy," saying the words together as they broke into an almost embarrassed giggle. It was clear that intimacy was something they had recently begun and were just beginning to learn what that word might mean.

"Love," said an old man with a heavily lined face and a vast expanse of scalp with a thin patch of gray hair, "Is wasted on youth, those hormone fueled young fools. What love really is to embrace the best and even the worst characteristics of someone who is truly dear to you."

Then a middle aged women with sad eyes and a sorrowful voice said, "Love is a poison that grips your heart, killing it painfully in stages, when your lover leaves you for another."

"Love is being with my mommy and daddy," answered a 6 year old girl happily as she grinned with a sense of security and joy.

Just then a homeless man wearing tattered green sweat pants and an oversized brown sweatshirt ambled slowly in the door. "Compassion," he replied. "It's when people give you a helping hand and they don't make you feel small for needing it."

"Romance," called out a well dressed middle aged man with thick gray hair and a confident stride, and his male epartner added, "With the right person."

"A lifetime of wedded bliss," said a beautifully coordinated, distinguished looking 80 year old woman, as her longtime husband smiled proudly.

People continued to comment, each reflecting his or her experiences in life.

And then from a far corner of the chapel a voice boomed out, "Love is the spirit talking to the heavens and the heavens answering in a voice no ears can ever hear but in a vibration so powerful that it can touch the hearts of all humanity.

Thank you to Kahlil Gibran (1883 to 1931) whose similar concept poem on pages 54 and 55 in "The Little Book of Love" (2013) helped to inspire today's piece. Print Friendly and PDF

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