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A note on love

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Dear Editor,

All or most of us, in our teen years or older, have at one time or another felt romantic love for another, yet it is so difficult to define what we mean by love.

If asked to define love, we probably would do no better than the Jamaican taxi driver who was telling the tourist how nice ackee was with salt fish. The tourist then asked him to spell ackee to which he replied, “In Jamaica we doesn't spell ackee, we just eats it.”

Let me suggest some pointers about love that may help you towards a definition, or at least a description of romantic love.

Whatever else love is, it involves at least three components — attitude, atmosphere and action.

By attitude I mean romantic love is “a positive inner regard for and desire to be with another”.

By atmosphere I am suggesting that romantic love triggers a positive relational connection between you and the beloved; a vibe, an air of openness toward, maybe initial awkwardness with, but eventual 'at easeness' with, the beloved.

The action, component means that when romantic love is present there is going to be evidence of acts done in the best interests of the beloved or at least, evidence of attempts at taking action or the intention to take action in the best interests of the beloved.

These three components, attitude, atmosphere and action, tend to feed on each other. Where there is the attitude, it triggers the atmosphere and moves the lover towards action for the beloved. The more there is action for the beloved the more that tends to trigger or deepen the atmosphere or the attitude component, and so on.

For me, the acid test of mature romantic love is the willingness in principle of the lover to give his/her life for the beloved. Do you really love your beloved like that?

Happy Valentine's Day.


Rev Clinton Chisholm

Academic d ean

Caribbean Graduate School of Theology