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.

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. The Leftoverist

    I have always thought of Valentines Day as a day to celebrate love in all its forms. Thanks for sharing this beautiful meditation.

  2. jessiev

    lovely. valentine’s day makes me happy, to think of everyone i love!

  3. Shannalee

    me too, guys. thanks!

  4. Jessica

    Aww what a great article. Thanks for sharing it!!

  5. Shannalee

    Jessica – Right? So, so good. I literally check Yale’s opinion pages just to see what Bryce has written on a regular basis.

  6. Caitlin

    Happy Valentine’s Day sweetie – I hope it was wonderful, as wonderful as every other day :)

  7. Megan Gordon

    O.k., I printed this. I NEVER print anything because a) I usually lose it and b) I try to be relatively green. But something about this really struck me. Thank you so much for sharing. How can the author possibly be a sophomore? When I was a sophomore I was no slouch, but I certainly didn’t have the perspective he seems to have. I love how he delineated the difference between affection, friendship, and love. Really interesting to think about…

  8. Janet

    Have I told you how much I treasure your non-recipe posts? I bookmarked the last article you shared but this one just blew me away. I agree with commenter above – how can he be a sophomore and write so eloquently and with such maturity and perspective?

    The article reminded me a lot of what I love lately: life. I’ve been on this incredible natural high. So many amazing things happened and continue to happen … so much that I’m filled with constant excitement, energy and awe.

  9. Shannalee

    Caitlin, Right. I know V Day is just one of the 365 days we should show love, but I still like the reminder. :)

    Megan, I LOVE that you printed this. The first article of Bryce’s that I read, I think I told everyone I had ever met about it. Seriously. He’s gifted.

    Janet, Aw, thanks! This article def blew me away, too. And happy you’re so happy, by the way.

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