Love is that fragile flower of most uncommon beauty. One which can never be found by purpose alone while wandering through life’s gardens. But one whose color and fragrance is most pure and meaningful when discovered by accident while tending to the more mundane duties of the common man. A diamond found lying quietly amongst the broken glass of childhood’s shattered windows.
To love another is the supreme sacrifice of self. For we must give freely and completely of ourselves to another, without reservation or condition. To give less serves only to hinder the growth of our evolution from self sustaining isolation to a greater joining of universal awareness. As children we love by instinct but it is a selfish love. One which results out of necessity, born of helpless reliance on others for survival. It is an innocent love, free of complicated psychosocial encumbrances or expectations. But it is a hungry love which takes much more than it gives in the beginning.
Initially a baby will smile out of some inner pleasure that is imperceptible to others. But very soon, it learns from our reactions to that smile that it possesses a power to influence its surroundings. By repetition and association the child discovers he can gain pleasurable sensations from external sources by the simple act of a smile. The first seed of love is planted when we acknowledge the child’s smile with our own outward expression of pleasure.
“Even a minor event in the life of a child is an event of that child’s world and thus a world event.”
Gaston Bachelard (1884-1962), French philosopher
From that first moment of conscious realization the child understands that to be a recipient of these enticing pleasures he must give of himself. However, growing in close proximity to this freshly planted seed lies another, less tender sprout. A subtle, yet powerful comprehension of the inherent capacity for manipulation. Without being fully aware of it, the child can sense that his own selfish needs can be fulfilled wholly with only a tiny investment on his part. It is almost too easy. And the easiest lessons of life, though not without merit, demand so little of us that we are sometimes blind to the simple fact that we remain responsible for our actions towards other human beings.
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