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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 Is A Learned Phenomenon

Each man lives love in this limited
fashion and does not seem to relate
the resultant confusion and loneliness
to his lack of knowledge about love.

             At the turn of the century a child was found in the forests of a small village in France. The child had been abandoned for dead by his parents. By some miracle he did not die in the forest. He survived, not as a child, even though he was physically a human being, but rather as an animal. He walked on all fours, made his home in a hole in the ground, had no meaningful language above an animal cry, knew no close relationships, cared about no one or no thing except survival.

             Cases such v as this - that of Kumala, the Indian girl, for instance- have been reported from the beginning of time. They have in common the fact that if man is raised as an animal he will behave as an animals, for man "learns" to be human. Just as man learns to be a human being, so he learns to feel as a human being, to love as a human being.

            Psychologists, psychiatrists, sociologists, anthropologists and educators have suggested in countless studies and numerous research papers that love is a "learned response, learned emotion." How man need to be learns to love seems to be directly related to his ability to learn, those in his environment who will teach him, as well as the type, extent and sophistication of his culture. Family structure, courtship practices, marriage laws, sex taboos, for instance, all vary according to where one lives. The mores and folkways involved in love, sex, marriage and the family are different, for instance, Bali than they are in New York City. In Bali, for instance, the family structure is close; in Manhattan, it is loose and less structured. In Bali, marriage is polygamous; in Manhattan, at least for legal purpose, monogamous.

            These facts concerning the effects of learning upon behavior appear self-evident when stated. Yet, they seem to have little, if any effect upon the majority of people when applied to love. Most of us continue to behave as though love is not learned but lies dormant in each human being and simply awaits some mystical age of awareness to emerge in full bloom. Many wait for this age forever. We seem to refuse to face the obvious fact that most of us spend our lives trying to find love, trying to live in it, and dying without ever truly discovering it. there for we say that the love known no age.

            There are those who will dismiss love as a na´ve and romantic construct of our culture. Other will wax poetic and tell you that "love is all," "love is the bird call and the glint in a young girl's eyes on a summer night." Some will be dogmatic and tell you emphatically that "God is Love." And some, according to their own unique experience, will tell us, "Love is requires one to be strong, emotional attachment to another."etc. In some cases you will find that people have never thought of questioning love, much less defining it, and object violently even to the suggestion that they think about it. To them love is not to be pondered, it is simply to be experienced. It is true that to some degree all of these statements are correct, but to assume that any one is best or all there is to love, is rather simple. So each man lives love in his limited fashion and does not seem to relate the resultant confusion and loneliness to this lack of knowledge about love.

            If he desired to know about automobiles, he would without question, study diligently about automobiles. If his wife desired to be a gourmet cook, she'd certainly study the art of cooking, perhaps even attend a cooking class. Yet, it never seems as obvious to him that if he wants to live in love, he must spend at least as much time as the auto mechanic or the gourmet in studying love. No mechanic or cook would ever believe that by "willing" the knowledge in his field, he'd ever become an expert in it.

             In discussing love, it would be well to consider the following premises:

             One cannot give what he does not possess.
                     To give love you must posses love.

             One cannot teach what he does not understand.
                    To teach love you must comprehend love.

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