Every so often I get the opportunity to witness real, no hold's barred love. Whether it is the love between a child and a parent, the love between friends, the love between siblings, or the romantic love that forms between two people that have made up their minds that they will spend their lives together; it is actually all good!
People like to talk about the human condition as though it's shaped by only pain and loss. We hold up the tragedy as though it is the most essential narrative that humanity has to offer. Here is my rebuttal...
From a psychological perspective, pretty much all animal life has an innate ability to be aggressive. If you put the cutest puppy in the wrong situation, you get an aggressive dangerous animal that has no choice but to follow it's fight-or-flight instincts. When you move to higher order mammals, you begin to find the ability to seemingly emotionally bond with other animals. Going back to the puppy example, a dog seems to have the ability to see other dogs, and other animals as worth protecting, and even seems to enjoy contact with other animals.
Here is the funny thing about it. When you come down to it, other animals [with the exception of higher primates, dolphins and whales.... maybe....] use simple metrics in order to define their bonds. It is all about conditioning. Who does a dog bond with, it bonds with the person who feeds and protects it. Simple as that... So why all the talk about dogs, when I'm arguing that Love is human. Well, here it is... Humans have all the same cognitive structures as dogs, cats, fish and whatever else has something of a brain. We have just added on to it. And our big add is our frontal lobe. That's where we house our executive function, our ability to reason. And the core of executive function is the ability to choose based on reason, instead of based on emotions.
This means, while we are affected by the same instincts as other animals. We can choose to not follow them. So just because someone feeds and protects you, you don't have to love that person. Love is a choice. And when, in a world where the very action of loving another opens a person to tragedy of loss, people still choose to open themselves to loving another in the most foolish and beautiful way, I can not help but be grateful for the privilege of baring witness.
I'm Grateful for Love!
Just a Thought... #CarryOn
So, I think that making gratitude lists is such a good practice that, My challenge for you is to write down one thing that you are grateful for each day!