Friday, February 1, 2013

Love Month Series #1: What is Love?

Much have been said and done in the name of Love.  Why not? Love is a basic human need, according to psychologist Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of human needs. Everyone needs to love and be loved.
Maslow says that love is a prerequisite to self-actualization and fulfillment, which he defined as "being the most that one can be."

History and literature are replete with stories about how that much-abused, recklessly used and often-ridiculed word reigned supreme in the lives of those who defied difficulties,  obstacles, prevailing conventions, and even public opinion -- all in the name of  love.

Romeo and Juliet sought death over a life of being apart.  Paris of Troy and Helen of Sparta ignited the Trojan war because of their love. Separated from Penelope, Odysseus refused eternal youth in favor of his love for Penelope, who patiently waited for Odysseus to come back from war. Edward VII gave up the throne of England and chose to abandon then  societal norms and mores  to marry Wallis Simpson.  In Gone with the Wind, Scarlett O' Hara couldn't make up her mind about Rhett Butler. Rhett had left by the time Scarlett finally realized that she loved him and all she could say was "tomorrow is another day."

What is it with love that makes one risk, sacrifice and, in some cases, even go mad in despair?

What exactly is love? Here are some of the answers I found:

-  A virtue representing all of human kindness, compassion and affection (

-  Sexual passion or desire (

- The unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)

- Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1Corinthians 13:4-7, Holy Bible)

- Sometimes I call you my cup, sometimes the jug, sometimes my precious gold, sometimes my silver moon. Sometimes I call you a seed, sometimes the prey and sometimes a trap. And all this is because I don't want to call you by your name. (the Persian mystic Rumi)

-  Love is five when the limit is four. It dangles like an ornament and burrows into walls. (A friend)

- Love for the Chinese is symbolized by a character consisting of a heart (middle) inside of "accept," "feel," or "perceive," which shows a graceful emotion.(

As for my definition of love, the photo below says it all

What's yours?

- Ariel Murphy


  1. Love is a blur? Actually, I really like the photo.

  2. Gosh, Ariel - now you've got me trying to fit the picture with your definition - I'm trying to understand the single white line at the top left and the lonely looking one down below. LOL!
    Maslow's triangle is interesting also and I like that too, but I immediately saw a 3D triangle with four sides and statements on each colored representation. Wow! - I will LOVE to consider your #1 in the series further....

  3. Thanks Pete! My #2 tomorrow will be a guest post. And then another guest post (not part of the series) will be for Sunday. Series #3 will resume on Monday. Glad that you LOVE my stuff! Very encouraging and inspiring. Keeps me from pulling the plug off my blogging, which I've thought of doing.