A number of our columnists in this month’s issue have turned their attention to this “thing” called love. Of course, it’s February and the time of year when so much focus is on romance and expressions of tender feelings.
So what is love? How do we know it when we have it or find it? How do we avoid the pitfalls of love, the false alarms and wrong choices that break our hearts and waste our time?
These are the questions that parents wish so much to be able to answer when their tweens and teens face the inevitable break-ups or heartbreaks or unrequited love experiences. We recall as parents looking back on the hurts of our own youth the disappointments and sorrows. If only we could have the formula to give our youngsters that would help them through the pathways of love and longing. But we can be bracing and understanding and comforting even when we hear things like, “If you loved me I wouldn’t have to go to school”, recently said to a member of our staff by her young son.
We need more love in this world, that’s for sure. We need to love the ones who have no love, we need to spot the need for love in the unloved around us and help them feel secure, safe and untroubled. As parents we need to reach out for help for our children when and if we recognize they are facing issues we are incapable of handling for them on our own. This is also a part of love. It is our responsibility to instill love and trust and security in those babies who come into our arms as brand new people and if they are in trouble, it is loveable to reach out for help.
In spite of horrible headlines from time to time, I believe we all are becoming more loveable. I see incredible changes sociologically with far less polarization, anger, revenge and separation. I see a growth in tolerance, understanding and acceptance and huge changes that make me know that many of us humans have come a long way. We are moving forward and there is progress on every front and that is because of love.
So we love our children, our pets, our family, our friends, and if we’re very fortunate, we get a partner to experience it all with that makes us less on our own. Some do and some don’t. That’s just the way it is. Not an easy thing to explain to one’s children who are all hoping and dreaming of love everlasting and the bells and the banjos ringing.
Love is the answer. I say that every year and I mean it. We can’t have enough. We must treasure every piece of it that comes our way.
Thanks for reading.