On Love: The Only Rational Act

Tuesday, October 8, 2013 - 6:26am
Photo by David Ramos

On Love: The Only Rational Act

by Trent Gilliss (@TrentGilliss),  Executive Editor / Chief Content Officer

“The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love, and to let it come in. Let it come in. We think we don’t deserve love, we think if we let it in we’ll become too soft. But a wise man named Levin said it right. He said, 'Love is the only rational act.'"

— Mitch Albom, from Tuesdays with Morrie

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Trent Gilliss is executive editor of On Being and chief content officer of Krista Tippett Public Productions. He received a Peabody Award in 2007 for his work on "The Ecstatic Faith of Rumi" and garnered two Webby Awards (in 2005, and again in 2008). The Online News Association nominated his journalistic work multiple times in the general excellence and outstanding specialty journalism categories. Trent's reported and produced stories from Turkey to rural Alabama, from Israel and the West Bank to Cambridge, England.

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10Reflections

Reflections

Love yourself then you can love others.
The greatest gift is Love

decades ago, the words i came with for the rationality, the practicality of love:

Love is a valid tool for survival.

What a beautiful phrase! It's going into the journal...

Sitting at a restaurant for dinner a few months back, I was struck by the universal response of hope and happiness for a young couple becoming engaged. We all were rooting for love!

Opening up to love and loving requires us to take off our armour and make ourselves vulnerable. It's scary. However, it's the only way to truly experience this world and its people.

ESTABLISHMENT OF SENSE OF SELF-IDENTITY AND SELF-WORTH NECESSARILY PRECEDES BEING ABLE TO LOVE AND BE LOVED! Hence my objection to Krista's Guest. I said: : "No! The most important thing is to FIRST accept and love oneself!" To think otherwise is illogical and may even MAY suggest codependency. If love is rooted in Irrationality, it is doomed. TWH stardate 10092013

So the real, big, tall challenge is to understand what rationality is and how to show that in your loving mentality and your loving act. And then the other challenge is to get the true meaning of love; how many of us who say we want love are actually wanting something else.

130 tons of ripe tomatoes wasted in a time when people in the world are literally starving to death does not inspire me in the least. It fact, it makes me really sad.

Love is that which makes us feel good about ourselves, the sense that something, someone, some activity validates and gives meaning to our existence. One can love a job, a sport, a person, family, country, a philosophy/deity. Some of this is an argument about semantics, but I believe this is the common thread to what people perceive as the meaning of the word. The logical consequence is that "Love" is then the most important thing (or things) in ones life. But humans are psychologically messy. One can love things to different degrees as they are more or less important to the core of one's sense of worth. Being empathetic and giving can match one's sense of self worth and build it on a broader/stronger foundation than say sports or a job. So one could argue that is "better" in some sense.

Thanks for your words about "love". I have grappled for many years about the true meaning of the word "love". It seems to be vastly overused as a catchall term, thus degrading it's true meaning, which is hard enough to discern as it is. I know about the different types of love (CS Lewis), the five Love languages, etc., but the actual meaning of the word still remains elusive. It is sort of like the Supreme Court justice who said about pornography, "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it!".