When I was challenged with this topic I knew almost immediately there was one crucial idea I wanted to flesh out. There is a big problem with the word love and the way we use it. This problem begins with us very early on and continues well on into adulthood. It has probably done as much damage to the concept of love as anything else.
We overuse/misuse the word to the point that it could be cheapened beyond repair.
Think about it. How often do we use the word “love”. Not much you say? Think… OK, I’ll clue you in. Ever said “I love that movie”? How about “oh, that is my favorite song, I just love it!” Or maybe you have said something like “ooooooohhhh, I love [fill in favorite celebrity].” Classic overuse of the word.
If you love everything, you love nothing?
We do not “love” any of those things or these famous people we do not know, and if we actually do, there are other problems. We may really like and enjoy those things, but we do not love them. It makes no sense. We love our family, our spouse, and our kids. We love our friends. We do not love movies. We do not love songs. We do not love Brad Pitt.
Ever wonder why a middle school kid says they “love” their boyfriend or girlfriend? We know they haven’t a clue about love, but they still say it. It’s because we have made the word too easy to use over the years. It’s a casual thing. No big deal. I have no idea when it started with kids, but I know we were throwing it around like that when I was 12. Looking back, we all know that what we were feeling was not love. WE had so few responsibilities then and nothing really cost us anything.
So what’s the problem? Well, when we buy something cheap, do we take good care of it like we do our expensive things? No, when things come easy and cost us very little, we tend to not care for them. If thinking and saying we love something is too easy, and there is no cost associated with it, not only are we not taking care of the word itself, but we are probably not taking good care of who we say we love.
Really loving our family and friends takes a huge investment. It is more than SAYING we love them, especially when we consider how we have screwed up that word. Am I saying we should not or do not need to tell them? No. That is still very important. But we have to think before we use the word. When we do use it, we have to be ready to back it up with lots of action and we need to make sure we are using where we should be using it.
Do not make the mistake of treating those you really DO love the way you do the movie star or gourmet dish you SAY you love. Those are out of site, out of mind situations. Again, we do not actually love those things. They do not matter when it comes to the big picture. The people close to us are so much more important and worthy of the word “love”.
The next time you say you love something or someone, stop and think about it. See if it is actually a love situation, or if it is perhaps one of those times you are a little too excited and go overboard with your admiration. Make the word actually mean something and use it only when it is true. You will make your life easier, the people around you happier, and maybe, just maybe, we can rehabilitate the word…
Watch for part three very soon… LOVE AS A WEAPON!!!