Recently, I was reading a friend's update that prompted me to look up the ancient Greco-Roman terms for love. It occurred to me that L-O-V-E continues to be one of the biggest things that hangs in the balance this decade.
The Greeks defined versions of love: agape, philia, storge, and eros.
1- The type of love that causes you to lay down your life for your country.
2- The type of love that makes you stand up for your sister or brother united in any fight or struggle.
3- The type of love that allows you to care for your child or those who you take care of.
4- The type of love you have for your partner, enduring in all of its complexity.
What’s ahead 2020
I have been watching a lot of these end of decade roll-ups. One theme continues to be that we have no idea how much of our lives will be controlled or monitored.
I wonder if the call of the digitization and information, or the call of distractions and deceptions, are coming up for us to get clear on what we love.
In English, we condensed all 4 “love” words into one (and some would say the Greeks had 7). We have made a complete muddle of it all. Not to mention, the mess often purposely created by those trying to get you to believe your agape or eros is under their control.
Are all the big dividing lines so everyone can get love (all 4) defined as they want and under their control?
It gives you the shivers, right. Is that it? Get your love and who you define and experience it under your control.
I froze as I let the thought hang there. All of this hate, pain, inequality, destruction, to control the definition of love. I know It’s not a new thought; but, it is still one that makes you want to run somewhere and hide. Or maybe it makes you want to stand and fight. I guess we’ll know more as time goes on.
A favorite passage
One favorite of mine is the passage that usually follows any homily on the four types of love.
Agape is the one written about in the text. Eros is the one we use the passage for. It was one of the readings at our wedding. But, I believe it can be applied to to Philia and Storge too.
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking,it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
An ask of each of you
There are 15 asks/declarations/requests/expectations in that short passage about love. Each is huge and can be an exploration in itself. None, I suspect happen without concerted effort. Yet, if this decade is about each of us owning our definition of love, then taking some time to look at those 15 asks in our own lives seems worth aspiring to.
I walk into the next decade with those words in mind: "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy..." and looking, examining. exploring who, what, when, how these words are exemplified or when I and others fail them. Religion aside, these words are a great measuring stick for what we are striving for.
Reference on Agape.Philia.Eros.Storge.