To Love or Not to Be Loved? [October 18,2012]
“Last night as we were riding back from North Carolina, our backseat philosophers started playing the game “Would You Rather?” The premise of this game is to propose two opposite options for members of the game to choose between. Everytime I have played the idea is to answer with your gut reaction, but these three people, being education majors, wanted to have a debate over the options. The question they posed was, “Would you rather be able to love but no one ever loved you back or not be able to love at all?”
Neither option is all that great. You are either able to love but never receive love or you can’t give love. It doesn’t seem like one will ever be happy.
I would choose the first option, because I would rather be able to give love than rely on others to give it to me. It makes me happier to see others happy than to be happy myself. Even with this ability to make others happy, there will still be some depression in my life, because I would know that I could never receive love from anyone else. That would make me feel inadequate and…unloved. I suppose the positive part of this is that I would stop focusing so much on if others liked me or not, because I would know that no one would ever love me. I would focus more on giving love to others in order to make myself happy.
The good thing about this proposition is that it will never happen. There will always be love in human beings because God gave us that ability. We will also always be loved because God always loves us. So I never have to make the decision between loving and being loved.”
I wrote this a few months ago, and today I would like to add a few words from Tennyson. In his long poem, “In Memoriam,” he writes about love and loss in canto 27.
I hold it true, whate’er befall;
I feel it, when I sorrow most;
’Tis better to have loved and lost
Than never to have loved at all.
Tennyson has it right. I would rather be able to love. Even if loving means losing sometimes, at least I have experienced love.