“To stop loving someone, to grow apart, is not the lack of unconditional love. It’s a side-effect, if you will, of being human.”
Love by itself is a strange topic to talk about. Not due to the lack of content or theories but in fact due to the large volumes of perspectives and theories about the same. I am a firm believer of all things good and love is definitely one of them. And so, recently when I came across an article in which the author worked hard to prove that unconditional love does not exist, as I read through it, I was more and more convinced that it does indeed exist but I also realized that the prerequisites to ‘unconditional love’ were probably what were different.
So, let’s start from the beginning.
I was born and brought up in a culture that applauded respect towards elders, tradition and compromise.
I was born and brought up in a culture that applauded respect towards elders, tradition and compromise. The Indian culture taught me to be caring and compassionate towards others and myself. I learned that, because society treats men and women differently, I may need to compromise more in life than my male counterparts, especially as and when I work towards a more just and equal society. And though, as a teenager, I resented the thought of compromise, I do think that it is the best lesson I could have ever learned and witnessed in my life. The distinction though, that allows me to be proud of this characteristic is that I was never allowed to, or required to compromise on who I was and what I firmly believed in.
I was constantly reminded to be true to myself but also encouraged to compromise when the compromise was merely situational.
I was constantly reminded to be true to myself but also encouraged to compromise when the compromise was merely situational. A minor example – I never gave into drinking or asked anyone else to give it up because of me, but I have on multiple occasions, eaten horribly cooked Indian food at an American restaurant because my best friend loves Indian food.
Another aspect to compromise is that if I were to compromise, I mustn’t regret or resent it.
Another aspect to compromise is that if I were to compromise, I mustn’t regret or resent it. Compromise sounds like such a bad, almost damaging word but in reality it should be a choice. A choice to compromise. So though the compromise might benefit two or three of us, I must never resent anyone else for my choice to compromise. There are unfortunately many men and women whose lives are not a product of their decisions and compromises may be made on their behalf. I do not in any way intend to belittle individuals in those situations, but my point is steered a very different direction.
So, now think about it – all relationships require compromises. Parent-child, siblings, partners, all of them at some point needed one of you to change plans, cancel plans, quarrel, argue or whatever and yet those relationships that survive are the ones where those compromises aren’t even that important. In these relationships when you think back on all your times with you parent, sibling, partner, all you think of is that silly prank, or that disastrous dish or that weird travel destination. Rarely, if ever, a ‘compromise’ is brought up and resented. Now onto unconditional love. No individual comes tailor-made to suit one’s needs. They all have something annoying, aggravating, irritating qualities about them. That doesn’t stop one from loving them, we simply work around those issues and continue to love them despite the issues.
To stop loving someone, to grow apart, to grow distant is not a lack of unconditional love, it’s a side effect, if you will, of being human.
To love someone without conditioning that love to cause and effect, is to love some unconditionally. To stop loving someone, to grow apart, to grow distant is not a lack of unconditional love, it’s a side effect, if you will, of being human.
What do you think? Do you think there is such a thing as unconditional love or not? Let me know in the comments.
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