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The Intricate Ideas and Definitions of Love

When most people are asked to define love, they are stumped by how difficult it can be. Most people do not grasp how complex and connected love is with other things. People all have different ideas of love, and with each generation, it twists and turns. One thing that is constant with love is the beauty of its complexity. 


I believe love is subjective, and there is no one form to feel it or express it. A love for a dog or a partner is very different, but both can be just as powerful. Each one has distinct characteristics and feelings associated with it. 


The first thing I think of when I hear love is how contradicting it is. Love can give and make people feel beautiful things. However, love is also dark and painful. So how can something so pure be so dark simultaneously? I think that is the beauty of love. Something so byzantine it contains both greatness and pain. 


Do not fret; I do believe love is pulchritudinous. It ties all of humanity together regardless of gender, ethnicity, race, background, or religion, and it is blind to discrimination and free of judgment. I think love is something humans need because it gives people purpose. I also think it is an inconsistent and unparalleled feeling that can transform into other things.


The idea of love continuously transforms from generation to generation. My opinion is from a female who is 21 and has lived numerous things others have not and vice versa. Hence, my opinion is very different from others. 


To learn more about the intricate and subjective ideas and definitions people have of love, I decided to conduct a series of interviews with individuals all over North America, ranging in gender, nationality, religious beliefs, and more. The age of the individuals ranged from 20 years to 56, and each answer was fascinating and refreshing. 


Two American females, ages 20 and 21, who grew up in very different ways, expressed a similar idea of love. They believe it is rare to find. When asked about love, they both associated cheating with it. They said that in this generation, everyone cheats and has the wrong intentions. Both females fear that the authentic love they long for was lost many generations ago. 


A 26-year-old male from Mexico illustrated a comprehensive and unique outlook on love. He said that he believes everyone is frustrated and eager to find love, but they want it for the wrong reasons. He explained that everyone wants it but does not want to put in the time or effort required. The desire for superficial love blinds his generation and those below.


Something that resonated with me was, “love is a currency that the only way to get richer is by giving it away.” When this individual spoke these words, I was stunned. I think this phrase embodies what love is supposed to be. Not a selfish desire to have someone’s hand to hold, to have someone accompany you, but instead a desire to make someone else happy. A desire to love someone else for what you can give them, not what they can give you. 


Hand in hand with some ideas already mentioned, a 25-year-old female from Mexico said, “love is the greatest expression of sacrifice.” She said her generation tends to have selfish intentions and a distorted idea of what love is. Her generation and the younger ones gravitate toward the love shown in movies. She does not agree with these ideologies because a movie is an hour and a half. The growth characters go through, the development of relationships, and everything in between, is shown in an hour and a half. In real life, it takes months and years to do the same.  Movies only show a page or a chapter in a pervasive and elaborate book. 


This female also believes there are two versions of falling in love. One version is you fall in love with someone because of the person you are when you are with them, and the other is falling in love solely because of who they are.   


A 23-year-old male who has lived his whole life in America expressed how great he thinks love is. He said it is not a feeling but a choice. A choice to share a bond with someone. A choice to mutually share everything with someone. On the other hand, he explained how different his generation sees love. He believes people overlook love and fail to comprehend what love is. People do not want to take the time to understand it and find it. 


Two males from Mexico expressed very similar views. One is 22 years old and has lived a part of his life in France. The other is 27 and has lived all of his life in Mexico. Both individuals expressed ideas of how beautiful and intricate love can be. The 22-year-old said he sees love as the best thing in the world and believes life without a partner does not make sense. The other male elaborated on what love is for him and explained that loving someone is about the ups and downs and protecting each other's happiness. It involves working together and having individual objectives but mutual ones as well. He also expressed that there can be love for people, nature, and many other things. 


Both males have similar views of how their generations view love. They mentioned that they think their generations think of love as something disposable. People have forgotten how to communicate effectively and trust one another. They do not care about finding love or someone to be by their side. They said their generations see it as something casual and as an avenue to fulfill sexual desires. 


I also interviewed two females, ages 49 and 56. The 49-year-old said love is unconditional, and she would do anything for those she loves. She said love means being committed and being there for someone, no matter the emotional or physical demand. The other female said that there are different types of love. She focused on the love people have for their children. She said this type of love is pure and infinite. 


Contrary to her ideas, she explained how people see love today. She believes people do not have authentic reasons to love and do not do things out of love, but for the benefits it may bring.


Lastly, another male I interviewed said some compelling things. This 24-year-old vividly expressed his ideologies about love. He said love is an intangible energy that gives us our humanity.  He also believes that love is ungovernable. He commented on the difficulty he and most people have in explaining what love is but how easy it is to acknowledge when feeling it. The words one uses to explain what love is do not just flow right off the tongue. Nonetheless, the feeling of love is unlike any other, so it is easy to recognize that feeling.


His insights into what society and the world think of love differed significantly from his opinion. He said humans are not taught to love, so people think everyone is replaceable. He believes we live in a society where people think they have multiple options. However, these individuals cannot differentiate fiction from reality. The reality is most people have fewer options than they think. People think there is always something better out there and want that instead of focusing on what they have. He also believes that our generation does not want to take the time or effort to care for something worthy.


It is clear the broad spectrum of responses and opinions that all embody and stem from one word, love. It is not a simple topic that can be easily defined. Love is everchanging and transforms into different things for different people. So, keep Hermann Hesse's words in mind, “if I know what love is, it is because of you.” Go out into the world and let someone into your life. Love them fearlessly and infinitely. Search for your idea and meaning of love, for there is one for each of us.

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