The following is a clip from “Feel Love Tomorrow,” written by Bryce Taylor of the Yale Daily News, and I think it’s just as beautiful and appropriate today as it was last February 13.
Love, after all, encompasses a great deal more than romance; it comes in many forms. We can love a spouse, and we can also love cookie dough ice cream. We can love a parent, a place, a work of art — even a stuffed animal.
One of the most common forms of love is simple affection. Affection grows out of familiarity and thus depends on regular contact over time. While a new home, a young puppy or an unheard song may bring excitement and adventure, they incite none of the tender fondness of the familiar home, the old dog, the longtime favorite song.
Friendship is another kind of love, one that incorporates affection but remains distinct. Whereas affection is a feeling, friendship is a relation. In contrast to mere acquaintance, it springs from and orients itself around a common interest, a shared pursuit.
But beyond romance, beyond affection, beyond friendship, there is another form of love — the highest form. It is called “agape” in Greek, “caritas” in Latin. Probably the best way to express it in English is “charity,” although it extends well beyond the act of assisting the needy.
Charity is a habit of the soul, a disposition, an attitude, and its aim is the well-being of others, even at the cost of self-abnegation. In the abstract it sounds laughably easy, but charity does not exist in the abstract. It exists in the gritty details of daily life. It exists in letting someone else go first, in listening before speaking, in forgiving an enemy’s wrongdoing or a friend’s betrayal.
to read the rest of the article, click here.