What is love? This phrase was Google’s “top search queries” in 2012; but by 2014, Robin Williams and the World Cup were on the minds of those “scuba diving” the Internet. (Note to self: saying surfing the Internet makes one terminally uncool.)
SO WHAT IS LOVE?
Since the ancient Greeks, we have struggled with the nature of love which is still defined (more of less) by four types. Phileo refers to brotherly love and is based on common interests or personalities, while Eros turns inward for a self-serving type of love. Storage is a family type love followed by Agape, the kind of love C. S. Lewis referred to in The Four Loves describes the highest level of love known to humanity – a selfless love passionately committed to the well-being of the other.
KIDS SAY THE ‘DARNDEST’ THINGS
To simplify love’s definition, I took some time to “scuba-dive the Internet” to see if budding Socratic scholars, under the age of seven, could shed some light on the mystery and meaning of love:
Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you’ve left him alone all day.
When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.
Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.
Leo Buscaglia (a.k.a. Dr. Love), noted author in the ‘70s and ‘80s, was a judge at a contest to find the most caring child. A four-year-old child’s response to seeing his elderly neighbor crying after the loss of his wife made him a winner in more ways than one. The boy’s mother watched as her little man crossed the street to visit the neighbor, who was sitting on his porch swing. He climbed onto his neighbor’s lap and just sat. When his mother asked what he had said to the neighbor, he replied, “Nothing, I just helped him cry.”
As Buscaglia’s said, “It’s only when we give joyfully, without hesitation or thought of gain, can we truly know what love means.”
SHARE THE LOVE
Naples history is filled with “agape advocates” stories – some are noted in the society columns – some are documented through Oldtimer’s stories – some are first hand accounts from my 36 years in Naples.
For example, at the second annual ‘Share the Love Valentine’s Concert Under the Stars’ at the Portico at Oaks Estate, the love was flowing. Friday evening, celebrity emcee, Jim Angle, former FOX News Chief Washington correspondent and ABC-7 anchor, Amy Sedlacek, launched the weekend event with an intimate fireside chat connecting the event’s theme to the services that TAPS provides for the surviving families of America’s fallen heroes. On Saturday evening, couples were greeted with a strolling violinist, rose petals lined walkways and cuddly red blankets for each guest. The full moon cast its charm as did, Mark Llewellyn Evans, internationally renowned Welsh Baritone.
The following sponsors are well known for their commitment to the well-being of our community: PerCredo, PikMobile, Cohen & Grigsby, Shula’s, UNS, Germain BMW, Intech Printing, Norman Love Confections, Gareth Rockliffe Photography, the Carl Evans Band and Life In Naples.
A BLANK CHECK
A veteran – whether active duty, retired, national guard, or reserve – is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount of ‘up to and including’ their life.
Is there any greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friend, family or country? Perhaps it’s caring for their loved ones after they are gone.
The ‘Share the Love’ event also benefited The Marc Scialdo Scholarship Fund in honor of our Naples Hero, SSG Marc Scialdo, who was killed while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom on March 11, 2013. His foundation will help the children and grandchildren of SWFL Operation Enduring Freedom Veterans fulfill their education and career goals.
Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors steps in after our American Heroes and Heroines are laid to rest. They provide compassionate care
and peer-based emotional support, grief and trauma resources, seminars, casework assistance as well as a 24/7 help line.
Blaise Pascal, the French philosopher, wrote that the heart has its reasons which reason knows nothing of. So the quest to define love continues. Perhaps on Saturday, February 13, 2016, in the company of other like-minded “Agape Advocates,” you can find your answer.