Midweek Fix: The Simplicity of Love
I had the rare privilege of spending quality time with a 10-year old over the last holidays. The Christmas holidays.
Due to a sequence of events, I figured it’d be better if we just stayed home this time and catch up on things. I just wanted to talk with her and fill the gaps in my memory were she was concerned.
Sounded like a plan, right?
And everything went as smoothly as I’d envisioned it – I made sure we stayed in the house most of the time. All the lull and inactivity had given me a false sense of security, so I was understandably unprepared when she suddenly dumped herself in my lap one evening while I was waiting for her mother.
“What kind of water do you like?”
I screwed up my face. This pikin and her weird questions…!
“Clean, fresh water. Why do you ask, darling?”
“Well, mummy always buys bottled water – and the day I wanted to take the ones in sachets, those ones they call ‘pure water’ she was really angry with me.”
“I think that’s because…”
She raised up her hand. “And then some of the other kids at school drink water from the school tap – but mummy says I shouldn’t. I don’t understand.”
I scratched my head. “That’s simple. Water from the tap is different from water in bottles and sachets. The specially-packaged water is usually safer than the ones in taps – and the better the packaging, the safer the water.”
“But you’re not actually sure it’s safer, are you?”
Uh oh, my internal buzzer went off.
“Well – I have not had the privilege of -”
“But you cannot guarantee that it is safer. You only assume it is because it looks as though they take more time to put it in special cases and packs. There’s no evidence that it is safer, is there?”
“Well baby, we have some government regulatory boards that supervise such things -”
“The same government who cannot fix bad roads – or make sure there’s light?”
Gbam. Even I could not defend that one.
Smiling prettily to herself, she got off my lap and looked at me. “I think the people who say ‘bottled water’ or ‘pure water’ do so to confuse other people so that they think there’s something wrong with ordinary water – and have no choice but to come buy theirs.” She nodded wisely and kissed me. “Thank you.”
I sat there, stunned. This girl is way smarter than I was at her age – or even now.
Of course, some of the water are bottled under the best of conditions and therefore are supposedly ‘healthier’ alternatives to ‘tap water’.
But then, we did not always have pure or bottled water. And we were doing quite fine.
And then, as is usually typical for me, something else came to my mind. Isn’t what we adults do concerning love kind of similar to what we do with water?
Because ‘love’ has become a commonplace word, used and abused to fit all kinds of situations (kinda like ‘friend’), we feel a prefix is necessary to make a distinction. Hence the phrase ‘true love’.
And I cannot lie to you. That phrase annoys me like no man’s business.
It annoys me because what the hell does ‘true love’ mean?! Asides from the obvious implication; which is that there’s such a thing as ‘fake love’, isn’t ‘true love’ a mouthful?
As far as I know, love is love. There are certain ways you describe love that are kind of like universal. I think a lot of us; Christian or otherwise, would probably agree with the 1st Corinthians 13: 4 – 7 definition;
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
Now you might have to be specific when detailing the different expressions of love (depending on who the recipient is) – but the above clearly states a general platform which I subscribe to anyways. No matter the relationship, the love has to share those basic qualities else it’s something else I think.
I mean, how we express our feelings most likely differ from person to person and receiver to receiver (I’d have to be all kinds of crazy to even imagine Frenching my mum; EWWW) – but the patience I exhibit with her, the time I take to listen to her and understand what she’s saying is no different to the understanding I have for my spouse. Maybe at differing frequencies – but the underlying thread is the same. Love.
I think we complicate things with labels and titles – kinda like we do with ‘real man’, ‘born-again christian’ and all those others. A line from a classic ad that has me giggling to this day is;
“If e no be Panadol, e no fit be like Panadol.” In other words, it’s either it is or it isn’t.
And it really is that simple.
What do you think? Is it necessary to separate ‘love’ from ‘true love’?
Please share in the comments! Thank you!