Mike Kueber's Blog

February 12, 2012

Valentine’s Day and love

Filed under: Culture,Education,Philosophy — Mike Kueber @ 11:23 pm
Tags: , ,

With Valentine’s Day only a couple of days away, love is in the air, and, with the zeal of a convert, I like to say that love makes the world go ‘round.  Love brings joy and happiness to millions and motivates people to do great and selfless things.  Unfortunately, love also often leads to bad things.

For the past two weeks, the San Antonio Express-News has been reporting extensively on the murder trial of Jon Thomas Ford, 43, who is accused of murdering his ex-girlfriend Dana Clair Edwards, 32, in the early hours of January 1, 2009.  Although the couple has ostensibly had an amicable breakup only three months earlier, there was testimony that Edwards had met Ford a week earlier to exchange Christmas gifts, but the meeting that was expected to be brief turned into an emotional, crying, drinking binge for Ford.  Unfortunately, the testimony didn’t reveal what was causing the binge.      Also, unfortunately, the evidence against Ford is very sketchy because the police admittedly did a sloppy job of preserving the DNA evidence.  That explains why the prosecution is occurring most than three years after the murder.

The San Antonio Express-News is probably attracted to the case because it involves affluent Alamo Heights types who have been able to retain Dick DeGuerin, a famous Houston defense attorney.  I am interested in it because, having recently gone through a painful breakup, I am struck by how difficult it is for many people to deal with the loss (not death) of a loved one.  Usually, the reaction is depression, but rarely does a week go by when the media doesn’t report on some act of violence committed by someone who has lost a love one.

Earlier today, I was speaking to a friend about emotional intelligence and how some people are gifted with it while others experience great difficulties in life because we didn’t receive the gift.  I wonder if this is an area where our schools should do more.  There has been a movement in recent years to teach financial responsibility in the schools as many kids run into unnecessary problems in life because they know little about taking care of their personal finances.  Perhaps schools could provide a similar service by teaching kids the fundamentals of having healthy emotional relationships and avoiding those that lead to depression or violence.

Incidentally, there was an excellent article in Parade magazine today talking about the science of love.  I especially enjoyed it because it described four chemical compounds that contribute to the feeling of love – dopamine, norepinephrine, oxytocin, and serotonin.  If you read my blog regularly, you know that I was introduced to the concept of oxytocin a couple of weeks ago by a friend who explained its importance to male and female bonding.  The Parade article also describes the role played by dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin. 

Of course, love is much more than a chemical reaction.  I recently stumbled across an extensive wikiHow article that attempted to describe/define love.  The article started with a quote from a famous font of wisdom, Albert Einstein – “How on earth are you ever going to explain in terms of chemistry and physics so important a biological phenomenon as first love?”

Among the article’s other excellent insights:

  1. Love is difficult to define. How do you avoid confusing it with infatuation or lust?
  2. The Greeks defined love in four categories:
  • Agape love is unconditional love. It is love by “choice” even if you are not pleased. A good example is “God loves us with our faults.”
  • Philia love is the dispassionate virtuous love, guided by our likes or our healthy or unhealthy needs and desires.
  • Storge is the word for family love and the physical show of “affection”, the need for physical touch. Sometimes the love between exceptional friends.
  • Eros is the physical “sexual” desire, intercourse. It is the root word of erotic, and eroticism.

3.  Love can be broken into three components:

  • Passion underlies physical desire, sexual behavior, and arousal. This is the physical side.
  • Intimacy is the emotional aspect: closeness, connectedness, and warmth of friendship.
  • Commitment is the decision-making part “CHOICE” of love; are couples willing to work it out?

4.  Deeply in love it is thought that one can only be really in love with one person at a time. The part of the human being that is reserved for sharing with another (which some may call the soul, or the heart) is used up while dedicating itself to that one source, and that it is impossible to feel the overwhelming feeling of love in two sources: “twice-at-once” sounds impossible.

5.  Endure for a time. Time does seem to be the only healer in the case of lost love. The full connection of two loving parties (mutually) could lead to a stronger relationship, and developments such as procreation and marriage; but in the case of a single party or the rejection of the first party by the second, or even in the case of a secret love, being in love will usually only fade after the interest is out of sight and out of mind, or gives full closure to the pursuer.

6.  Love forever (especially in literature)–it is forever. No matter how much time passes by, or what obstacles become present in the path of true and pure love, love will endure. This may be far-fetched from reality, but many find it to be a preferable way to think.

7.  Allow yourself to think so you may choose why, where and when to find your life partner not just for simple breeding or survival of the fittest, but in order for developing and choosing as human beings not just feeling beings.

8.  Share your love and spread it on through new generations, so while love lasts eternally, your mark upon humanity is also forever through your children and children’s children; you make your mark by your genetic codes, understandings and teachings continuing–passed on and developed forevermore!

Happy Valentine’s Day


1 Comment »

  1. Happy Valentine Day ~~~ =)

    http://www.lonelyreload.com (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

    Comment by lonelyreload — February 13, 2012 @ 7:33 am | Reply

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