Perhaps it's the fact Spring is in full swing or it may be that every-other song on the radio seems to mention it. Whatever the reason, there's a four letter word on my mind today. Love. Specifically, I've been wondering whether the love I have for donuts is the same as the love I have for my wife (just a difference of degree -I love Mónica more) or, are we really talking about two distinct verbs? (a difference of kind).
Hollywood would have us believe love is just an emotion. You look across the room and everything else dims next to the object of your affection. Love sweeps you off your feet, takes over your senses and overshadows reason. Love feels good. In this pop-culture context, you love what's attractive, appealing, astounding, appetizing or awesome. Butterflies flutter in your stomach, nerves tingle, knees are weak. If this is all there is to love, then I'd have to say my love for donuts is of the same kind as my love for my wife.
Is this all there is to it? When you think about it, by this standard, some things you've heard about love don't make much sense. When Saint Paul says "love is patient, love is kind" it could potentially be interpreted as the love we've described. When he follows it with "it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud" he clearly has something more in mind. Or, take Sting's "If you love somebody, set them free"... letting go feels terrible, how can that be the love we described earlier? And marriage vows involve committing to some downright unpleasant alternatives (...for worse... for poorer, in sickness...) and end when death do you part. Granted, a cynic might argue love and marriage are not necessarily compatible, however, if they are, then how can an emotion carry you through all this?
And so, we come to the crux of the matter. Is love in the domain of emotion or in the sphere of reason? Is love a subconscious feeling or a voluntary choice? Is it about the lover or the beloved? Selfish or selfless? Obviously, the term has been used to describe both of these apparently disparate alternatives. Is there a right answer and can these concepts co-exist? I'd like to think there is and they can. I believe love starts with the senses and is initially ruled by emotion. For lesser kinds of love, that may be all there is to it. In some special instances, however, this unsolicited feeling evolves into a decision to seek what's best for the object of your affection, no matter what happens. It evolves into a higher love (which is very different from love for hire).
For most of us, donuts probably fall into the "lesser" category dominated by our senses and emotions. I think, however, indulgence in these little pleasures refreshes us and makes us better able to enjoy life. Today, Nate Meyer provides us with a delectable selection that would make any donut lover blush. Come on over and satisfy your passion. Gotta love it!