Greenville Life Winter 2019 - Page 33

be fulfilled by love if it comes with a physical element? Do the other types of love we receive daily truly fall beneath our notice? Our country’s therapists might say yes to that. How much better adjusted we would be as a society if we saw the Philos of our close friends as love, and not dismiss it as just friendship? Would help us to better understand the Storge in our community as we say hello to the person behind the counter at our local coffee shop and they stop to ask us how our day is going? We would most defi- nitely be better off as a society if people took more time to engage in Philautia and took better care of themselves in addition to taking care of others. But no, we often overlook these simple acts of love expressed in every- day life and it really damages our per- ception and interaction with the world around us. This inability to see love in any- thing other than an erotic way has sent us searching headlong for love. In fact, it damages a great number of marriag- es as we feel that we’ve, “fallen out of love,” simply because our love has ma- tured from Ludus, to Eros, to Pragma. We fail to see the other parts of our re- lationships as love. The familiar parts (Storge) of laundry, cooking, bringing in an in- come and other such things are often not seen as love. They’re just part of life and living together. We no longer see them as acts of love on the part of the other, but rather as “their contribution to the relationship.” This often leads to a sense of entitlement to the actions of the other and turns a loving marital re- lationship into a simple social contract. No wonder so many are searching for love… You see, what we’ve failed at, as a society, is to understand what the an- cient Greeks understood so well. Love, true love, isn’t about receiving love, understand and recognize love every- where. It is true that to the Greeks, Agape was the greatest of all loves, but they recognized that this type of love was far rarer than the others. They found comfort in the more familiar types of love everywhere around them and understood that those loves flowed from that ultimate Agape love. Their culture was different from ours, but perhaps this is something that we can learn from them. In American culture today, it is not hard to notice that Eros is our top love. We’re not complete without someone to love and to love us. Many people seek after and long for this type of love. In fact, many feel unloved if they don’t have this connection in their lives. But what does that say about us? Are we really so shallow as a culture that we only recognize something as “real” love if it’s romantic? Can we only WINTER 2019 Greenville Life 33