What Do We Mean When We Say, "Love"?
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I love words, but, unfortunately, the English language is sorely lacking when in comes to ways to express feelings and attitudes that all get clumped together under the single four-lettered word - love.
Think about it. We love our spouse, our car, our job and our best friend. However, each of these forms of love is dramatically different. For instance, we feel romantic, soul-connecting, physical attraction type love of a spouse. On the other hand, the feeling we have for our car comes from the fact that we find it dependable, comfortable and easy/fun to drive. As far as our job goes, if we feel passion for what we are doing and when we feel appreciated and valued, then we use love in an entirely different definition. Finally, the feelings we have for a best friend come from a shared understanding of each other, an ability to trust and care for that person as well as shared experiences.
As you can see, there is a BIG difference in all this love we throw around in our daily lives.
Since this is the month associated with Love, I thought I would look at another form - agape. The dictionary defines this type of love as - "unselfish love of one person for another without sexual implications; brotherly love." In someways, it is the same as the love for a best friend; however, it is different in that we may have agape love for strangers.
Agape is when we see the Divine within another person, recognizing it as sacred. This is what happened to me when I first became acquainted with Dr. Maithri Goonetilleke, the founder of Possible Dreams International, as well as the people of Swaziland. As I read Maithri's words describing his work in Swaziland, as I met the people through his articles, I came to love them all.
Agape love is what spurred me one and inspired the creation of Gogo's Dream: Swaziland Discovered. For the love of these people and the work of Maithri and the team of volunteers in Swaziland, I had to do something...to give something of myself...to help them. Creating this book of poems was my gift.
Believe me, if I ever have the finances to leave my home for a period of time to travel to Swaziland in order to work with the people there, I will run to the nearest airport! Until that time, I will continue to do what I can to raise funds for the work of Possible Dreams International (PDI). To that end, all profits from the sales of Gogo's Dream: Swaziland Discovered goes directly to PDI.
If you are interested in reading my poetry and supporting the work Maithri and the PDI team does in Swaziland with the orphans and Gogo's (grandmothers) who care for them, please go to: http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/1321608
Let's share agape love this February!