By Michelle Lin and Jen Luu
Love. We hear that word around on a daily basis. Your best friend says she loves her new ABH Renaissance palette. Your mother says she loves the smell of fresh, baked cookies on a Friday evening. Your significant other says he or she loves you. Love is such a simple four-lettered word, yet it can take on so many different meanings. The dictionary definition of love is an intense feeling of admiration towards a particular person or object. However, there is a whole spectrum that goes beyond what words can define. Love, whether it be complex or not, imbues life with colorful experiences that each person can resonate with.
As many great novels and films depict, romantic love is the deep, emotional connection felt between two people, no matter the gender or sexual identity. Being in a relationship with a significant other comes not only with intimacy, but also the hardships and potential struggles to be faced throughout life. Romantic love is truly getting to know someone—to understand this significant other—and still accept the person for who he or she is, regardless of the flaws. This is the key to a long, healthy and successful relationship.
Although many people refer to love in regards to romance, the platonic kind is just as sweet. Friendship, as cheesy and cliche it may sound, is one of the foundational aspects of a social being. As a vital part of a support system, a friend is someone you walk along side with, not behind or in front. These are the people who we laugh with, confide in and cry to. A bond like this, built upon mutual trust and understanding, is what motivates us to be better and see the good in others as well.
Love is a verb, not just a feeling. It’s investing in, sacrificing for and caring about those around you. Perhaps the most common token of this is parental love. The intensity with which a parent loves his or her child is incomparable to all other feelings—mothers and fathers sacrifice so much to ensure their children’s well-beings. Whether fleeing the country to come to America to find better lives for their families or sacrificing time at home to make enough of an income to support their family members, parents are constantly looking out for their children. Parents tend to their child’s every needs and ensure that love is manifested toward them through physical touch, eye contact and loving actions. Parents have the power to uplift their children’s spirits, keeping them positive and shaping them to become the future leaders of society. It is through unconditional parental love that a child can prosper and grow up successfully.
More commonly known as passion, love towards a certain activity can breathe vigor into people’s lives. Whether it be playing video games, ice skating or dancing, the intense eagerness gives people purpose. This inherent dedication pushes us to seek more and more of what we love to do. There isn’t exactly an explanation to the the science behind it, but having a passion, even if it’s just a side hobby, truly gives people a way to simply enjoy life. Especially during times of turmoil, passion grants a kind of sanctuary that temporarily relieves people of stress, agony or sadness.
While strong passion is great, love for the simpler pleasures in life can bring joy as well. Happiness does not have to stem from grandeur things such as thousands of dollars or the most fashionable purse; instead, noticing the everyday details in our lives can help us be more appreciative of and content with life. The soft and cozy feeling of snuggling in bed after a long day full of work feels immensely satisfying. Likewise, most people can relate to the joy when rushing home from school to watch the latest episode of their favorite show after waiting for a week. The love for these minute yet universal delights make us cherish each day.
The need for love is rather important in all our lives today. Love, whether it stems from a platonic friendship, family members or significant others, has been deemed an important factor to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. According to Dean Ornish, a well-respected author and medical doctor, there is no other option to love that has a “greater impact on our quality of life, incidence of illness, and premature death from all causes.”
Experiencing strong, supportive relationships between those close around you provides a sense of purpose and contribution that ultimately cannot be found elsewhere. No matter where you find it, love is a feeling that is wholly worthy of being experienced.