Happy Thursday, everyone! I hope your week is going well.
It has been said that the Greeks have a word for everything. That is certainly true when it comes to defining love. In Western culture we tend to use love as a blanket term to describe feelings of affection and attraction towards another person. The Greeks, however, categorized love into specific characteristics and traits unique to different human relationships. there is Eros, or romantic love; Storge, or the love between family members; Philia, or a brotherly love among friends and comrades; and finally, Agape, or unconditional love.
I have come to realize that Agape love is the cornerstone that hold the other types of love together. Without Agape, the beauty and life creating energy of Eros becomes a pathway for exploitation and manipulation. Similarly, without Agape, Storge and Philia, the ties which hold families and society together, are easily be reduced to clan loyalty and gang mentality. Agape love is different. Agape can stand alone. We may be without a mate, a family, or friends, but we can still love wholeheartedly. When we say the world needs love, we mean the world needs Agape love.
I received a great lesson in Agape love this week. I needed to make a brief stop at my old school. I happened to arrive just as students were getting on their busses to go home. As I made my way to the front entrance, I was swarmed by dozens of 6 to 11 year olds who were beyond excited to see me. One of my favorite students, who is now a 3rd grader, exclaimed ” You’ve come back! You must never leave us again!” I almost cried right there on the spot. It was literally almost too much love for my heart to handle. I am very happy at my new school and with my new students but these kids were a part of my world for 12 years and seeing them again brought back so many memories and emotions. We teachers go through a lot with our students. We have our ups and downs, good days and bad days, moments of pride and moments of frustration. Our relationship with our students is not a picture perfect rose garden, but it is real. We love them and are dedicated to their success. It dawned on me as dozens of hands reached out to grab me and give me a hug, that despite my flaws, I am loved unconditionally by countless students and I unconditionally love them as well.
Popular media and culture may try to convince you that if you do not have a mate or biological children there is something lacking from your life. The truth is if you do not have Agape love there is something lacking in your life. Cultivate unconditional love and a good sense of humor. Everything else will fall into place in a way that is right for you.
As always, I would love to hear from you!
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Until next time,