What is love? We can easily hear the word "Love" all around us. But it is hard to give a perfect definition of love. It is caring, missing somebody after death, understanding deeply, passion for only one person, a beating heart, comfort, and so on. These are the feelings when we fall in love, or the partial definitions of it. We can't say it's all about love. Actually, no one can defined the true meaning of love. So I think love is a vague and ambiguous concept.
In the name of love, young people meet and break up so easily, and say "I love you" without knowing the definition of love. For example, a young couple falls in love, and when they think they are in deep love, they try to possess everything about each other. Each desires to control the other's mind and wants the other to do as he or she wishes. If he or she does not live up to the expectation of each other, they get disappointed and the relationship is over.
Here is the story of my friend, who broke up with his girl friend a month ago because of her bad habit of drinking till she gets drunk. Since she is a quarrelsome drinker, my friend was fed up with her and very disappointed at her. He said that he really tried, but he couldn't understand her. "She is really perfect before she drinks," he said. I sincerely consoled him. But on the other side I thought of the efforts he had made to change her. The efforts were like regulations to prohibit drinking, or a promise between them. It's so obvious that drinking to get drunk is her fault. But if he "loved" her from the bottom of his heart, he had to stand by her and understand her even though she made mistakes after giving her word. Also, he had to cheer her up and find something that can be an alternative to drinking.
He loved his "ideal woman" from the beginning, but when he noticed her incompleteness, he could not accept her. I think most young pelple have a similar story to tell.
"Give your heart, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of life can obtain your hearts. And stand together yet not too near together. For the pillars of the temple stand apart. And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow," said the great philosopher Kahlil Gibran in his book, The Prophet. I absolutely agree with him. There is no perfect human being in the world including me. We are all incomplete and so is love. Love is not a belonging game but a certain process. The process in which two loving people fill each other's incompleteness. The end of the process, there is not wedding waiting for love. Love is not the perfect tense but the progressive form. Through the process, they teach or be taught by the other. They are teachers as well as students. So they can accept and respect each other. And the process should be continued as long as they live. That's the love I believe in.
The writer is a sophomore student in the Dept. of Law at DU.
Kim Byung-su firstname.lastname@example.org
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