Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Excerpt from Some Winds Blow Forever

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“What is love?” Gina asked the Lithuanian-American as they rested in the living room after dinner. “I have read various definitions of love, but the more I know about it, the more questions come into my mind. Do you know?”
     Cara was silent for a minute. She just looked at her friend’s eyes, wanting to decipher what was in Gina’t thoughts.
     The radio was softly playing in the background. In that moment of silence between them, the station played the song of the Righteous Brothers entitled “Unchained Melody.”
     Cara smiled at her friend as she gave the answer she knew. “I learned that the Greeks have three words for love: phileo, which is the love of parents, brothers, sisters or friends; eros, which is erotic or sensual love; agape, which is God’s love. Your love for your boyfriend, then, falls under eros.
     “Erotic…” Gina teasingly said.
     “If there is no eros, how can there be a population boom? You and I wouldn’t be here tonight.”
     Gina laughed. “You said it right.”
     “Whatever kind of love a person has, commitment must be involved. If you really love a brother, a sister, or a friend, you must commit yourself to love the person no matter what the cost is. You’ll always stand by him, rain or shine. The measure of love is the degree of commitment it offers. Love is hollow and meaningless without commitment,” Cara explained.
     “Should I continue to love him then, even if I feel that the love he has for me, if there’s still any, isn’t commensurate to the love I offer?” Gina asked.
     The Lithuanian-American paused for a reply.
     “You’ll have to change your love for him from eros to phileo, or even agape, which is sacrificial love, the love of Christ for sinful mankind while he was dying on the cross. This change of love will take a different meaning and direction. Erotic love demands a possession of the person; that is not so with agape. Agape is unconditional. It stays unchanged irrespective of the response of the other person. Passivity or rejection fors not change agape. If your love is only eros, then fondness is easily transformed to hatred, and the desire to build becomes a desire to destroy,” Cara said.
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