Sunday, February 13, 2005

Love Is In The Air

It’s that time of year where Cupid is sharpening up his arrow tips and getting ready to pierce the shields of many unsuspecting people. With one shot the little pusher of romance will make you take that second look at a passing ship, or cause you to delve deep inside yourself to analyze the love, or loves, of your present existence.

I think younger folks tend to throw around the four-letter word a lot hoping that it will stick to someone. As time moves you along its fragile silver thread we tend to instinctively know what love is, rather then have to speak the word out loud seemingly for reassurance.

Another mistake of the young is that love is the tag you place on a significant other. Sure many will say they love their family, but never really take a step back and truly think about what the love of family means.

In the world of today many people would not dare use the word love to describe a relationship with a friend of either the same sex, or the opposite sex, for fear of a negative reaction it might cause in this politically over-corrected world we now find ourselves to be a member of.

Once again I shun what everyone thinks and can honestly say that I have many people in my circle of friends and family that I love. Not all female, not all male, and not all family.

Love to me is unconditional. We hear that term thrown around a lot when we talk about a dog. After all, we assume that a dog’s love for us is unconditional. Of course I’m willing to bet that there are some circumstances where that dog just might turn on you in a heartbeat.

The love I give to the people in my life that really matter to me is truly unconditional. My entire family, both near and far, fall into this category. I cannot, and will not, give up on a family member regardless of how they choose to live their lives, the mistakes they have made, or for any other reason that I can think of at this time.

Friends that fall into this region of my life were not sought out, but they have over time became equally loved as if they too were family. This does not in any way mean that new friends are not cared about, it’s just that the type of feelings I am talking about come with time. I like to think of new friends as future family members in the making!

It saddens me to hear of people who have parted, whether married, dating, or even a strong friendship, and they suddenly hate the other person. In these cases I wonder if there was truly a loving relationship to begin with, or if they were just living a false commitment.

I’m certain my friends and extended family know who they are, and that even though I don’t spend near enough time communicating with them, that I am still thinking about them all often.

It brightens my day when I also think about my wife’s family, and am proud to include them into my world. Sometimes when you marry I know that the family that comes along with the deal can be difficult.

In this world perfection is not anywhere to be found. There is not one among us who can claim it, or even pretend that we have discovered it in others. Your family, whether extended, adopted, or created, is your anchor on the Earth. Accept their shortfalls, and embrace their strengths.

There are times when I think that gullibility is one of my traits. I tend to see only the good in people, and assume that they too are on the right track in the school of life. It would take a lot from a person to say that I dislike them, and I can’t think of a single soul that I can say that I hate.

Let’s no freak out now, there are plenty of folks that are still using up good oxygen that are in need of severe punishment, and atonement for their crimes. Though I have no love for these criminals, I can’t say that the emotion of hate is in me either. Sometimes you need to show the unfortunate people who just don’t get the whole concept of love thy neighbor why heading down a vicious path was a poor career choice.

You may not always understand what makes a sibling tick, or why crazy aunt Gertie seems to enjoy making fun of everything you do. If they are family, chuckle to yourself, smile, look in a mirror, and hopefully you’ll realize that you seem to have some of the perfection pieces missing from your life as well.

It’s Valentine’s Day. Call your family, hug a friend, and take your kids into the backyard and spend some extra time with your dog instead of letting him watch the affection pass him by through the sliding glass door.

To my friends and family, I love you all. Even if you have never heard me tell you that in person, know that in my heart you are all loved and thought about often. I hope this Valentine’s Day brings you comfort, and someone gives you an extra hug!

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