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Isn't it pretty?

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Giving in Love

I am almost finished reading the book "Beach Music" by Pat Conroy. It's the story of family, love, friendship, betrayal, anger and any number of additional emotions. It's not going to be added to my list of favorites, but one of the passages I was reading last night really struck me. One of the characters in the book, Lucy, is dying of cancer and her son, Jack, is taking care of her. Jack says to Lucy that he wished he had loved her more, and been able to express that love to her more easily. Lucy responds to Jack by saying the love is not words, it is action. Love is shown by taking care of another, by giving to them, not by saying any specific phrase. I completely agree with this. I have heard the word "love" thrown around over and over again, with little meaning attached to it. It's easy to say the word love but it is much harder to show it. Especially true love that causes you to put someone else before yourself. To give up, with a whole heart, those things that you desire in exchange for giving someone else their desires. That doesn't happen often, and isn't easy to show or receive. But what I think is more important about the action of love is tailoring those actions to the object of your love. Many times I have been given gifts by someone who "loves" me, but those gifts weren't what I wanted or would enjoy, it was what the person who gave them wanted or would enjoy. Many times financial support has been offered as a symbol of love, but money is easy - it doesn't show the emotional support that one often needs even more. I think a lot of people don't know how to show real love; they choose to take the easier routes because, well, it's easier. It doesn't take as much thought and doesn't make you as vulnerable if the love isn't returned. But it also doesn't bond you to another in the same way. It's not easy to show real love, and it is risky in many ways. But the rewards are priceless.

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