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Forward To Love

Love As a Learned Phenomenon

Man Needs to Loved and Be Loved

A Questions of Definition

Love Knows No Age

Love Has Many Deterrents

To Love Other You Must First Love Yourself

To Love You Must Free Yourself Of Labels

Love Involves Responsibility

Love Recognizes Needs

Love Requires One to Be Strong

Love Offers No Apology

Love Knows No Age

            Man can learn, relearn or unlearn to the point of death. There is always more to discover. No matter how much knowledge he has, man can never know everything about anything. For this reason, the semanticist says all sentences should end with, “and, etc.” and man need to loved and be loved.

            Change is the end result of all true learning of love. Change involves three things: First, dissatisfaction with self- a felt void or need; second, a decision to change- to fill the void or need, and; third a conscious dedication to the process of growth and change - the willful act of making the change doing something.

            Man is forever expressing his loneliness, his despair, his frustration, his loss of hope. In his day-to-day living he finds it difficult to share, to understand and to relate with others. He feels that he must cope with an inordinate amount of envy, fear, anxiety and hate. He’s constantly finding reasons for his unhappiness in those about him and in his external environment: “The political system is corrupt and will always be so.” “Wars are inevitable.” “Man is essentially evil and cannot change.” “Justice, peace and security is only for the wealthy; the common man is just a dupe of the system.” “Education is meaningless for the future, frozen into its own irrelevance.” “Existence is a dead-end street where death stands holding a bloody knife. There are no detours, no escapes.”

            He sees himself as helpless in a situation that is hopeless. He appears intent upon looking for gloom. He seems more willing to accept the negative than the positive, always more prepared to doubt than trust. He is continually living in worry about the future and disillusionment regarding the past. He seldom finds himself at the source of his unhappiness. He scoffs at the idea that he can also elect happiness. In fact, man may be the only living creature with sufficient will and intelligence to choose happiness. How sad that he so often chooses despair. An optimist is seen as a fool. A lover is seen as a helpless romantic. If one enjoys life he’s called a “ne’er-do-well.” Man gets the feeling that if he’s joyful, he is certain to be punished for it tomorrow. The old adage that says, “All that’s good in the world is either illegal, immoral or fattening,” is a case in point. The Christian ethic that convinces man that he is not on earth to know joy and satisfaction but rather to work and suffer his way to eternal peace with God, is another illustration. Man seldom questions the fact that ugliness and evil are to be found in the world. But he’s never as ready to accept that life also offers Apology and unlimited beauty and potential for joy as well as endless opportunities for pleasure.

            Man becomes dissatisfied with himself and placing the blame on the unalterable aspects of a hostile world, he feels comfort in his self-created hopelessness. In this way, he relieves himself of all responsibility it involves.

            I am not suggesting that there is no evil in the world, nothing to fear, no corruption, no hatred, no malice, no animosity. One need only pick up any newspaper, watch any television screen, read any modern novel, or follow the world political scene to find all the unpleasantness and injustice he needs to reinforce a negative attitude.

            But most men fail to consider that there are at least two major forces at work upon him in the complicated process of his adjustment. Certainly he must contend with the external forces, the natural forces. An earthquake, flood or bolt of lightning may destroy him or those he loves. An accident may permanently cripple him. But how he responds, reacts and lives with the handicap or through the earthquake or flood is another matter. This he can regulate. This he has some management over. Man has will and thus to a large measure guides his life. The devastating effects of external forces are not often experienced in a lifetime. So he is free to use his internal powers to make his own life. He can write his own dialogue, surround himself with the actors of his choice, paint his backdrop and arrange his background music. Then, if he doesn’t like the play he has created for himself, he has only himself to blame. But even then he has choice. He can get off the stage and produce a new play. A free man is free even in the darkest prison. Most people in despair have little knowledge and less will with which to make things better for themselves. They are convinced that things are unalterable and will remain that way forever. As long as man has will he will have some degree of control over his reactions, responses and conclusions. To this extent he can assume responsibility for his own life. He is not totally at the mercy of forces greater than himself for he himself becomes a powerful force.

            In order to change, then, man must trust that he is capable of change. If he is dissatisfied with his ability to live in love, for example, then he must face this fact but be convinced that he is able to do something about it.

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