What is the meaning of Love? I think people would answer this question with their own definition of love. I am a dictionary user myself. I look to those who are smarter than I am. There are already thousands of definitions. I look to those who are better educated. I grew up using “Websters Dictionary” so I stick with it.
I can’t help but notice at Dictionary.com (Also called Webster’s dictionary) certain information.
“Webster’s, as the short name for a dictionary, most likely referred originally to the comprehensive dictionary. An American Dictionary of the English Language, written over the course of 27 years by Noah Webster (1758-1843) and first published in 1828.”
“Noah Webster’s major dictionary may well be thought of as the first to Americanize the English lexicon, incorporating many words that were distinct parts of American life.” There were other dictionaries and many more have developed since. In searching to find out what caused definitions to change (or update) I found this answer.
Culture And Love
Culture (/ˈkʌltʃər/) is, in the words of E.B. Tylor, “that complex whole which includes knowledge, belief, art, morals, law, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by man as a member of society.” (Tylor 1871:1) It is not just Cultural Environment but includes Social interactions.
We still have the standard dictionary with definitions and meaning, but we also have new modern dictionaries. One is the new “Slang Dictionary.” Slang words appear to be used more often making them common and acceptable in society.
Maria Boomhower, EzineArticles.com Expert Author says,”Once every ten years, the Merriam- Webster dictionary is updated. Their 11th edition for 2003 included some 10,000 new words along with 100,000 new meanings to words already existing and some 225,00 revised definitions.
Our Culture, Society and new language, have influenced new meanings and new definitions of words. Equally important is the fact that beliefs, morals, values and ethical behavior have changed. They have changed to match the new meanings and definitions. What is the meaning of love has changed with it.
What Is The Value Of Love
I do not think you can find the meaning of love without finding the value of love. They are two sides of the same coin. I want to look at a few definitions with the meaning of “Value.” The freedictionary.com states, “Value is to determine or estimate the worth or value of; appraise. 2. Worth in usefulness or importance to the possessor; utility or merit.”
“3. Monetary or material worth. 4. A principle or standard, as of behavior, that is considered important or desirable.” If love does NOT have a value then it is worthless. It is meaningless. Love would be another empty word.
How Is Love Valuable
1. The value of love makes us part of who we are. It helps us to value ourselves and others.
2. The value of love does exist in each person. We experience love and life.
3. The value of love and life go together, they cannot be separated.
4. The value of love and life are necessary for our continued existence.
5. The value of love is necessary for our continued health and well being.
6. The value of love gives us the freedom to reach outside ourselves.
7. The value of love brings joy, happiness and meaning to our life.
What Love Is Not
1. Love is not sex. Even animals and species pro-create and have sex. That is not love.
2. Love is not feelings and emotions only. As feelings and emotions change so does your love. Love is more than feelings.
3. Love is not infatuation. Infatuation is admiration or passion for something or someone. It is temporary.
4. Love is not attention. Attention is an interest in someone or something. Giving and getting attention is not love.
5. Love is not weakness. Always giving in and pleasing others. This comes from low self esteem.
6. Love is not harmful. This is abusive, destructive and manipulative behavior. Giving or receiving.
7. Love is not dependency. Being dependent on another person for your self worth. Insecurity.
What Love Is
1. Love is compassion. It is pity, sorrow and sympathy for others who are suffering. It is also a desire to help others. Compassion and passion are not the same, they are different.
2. Love is natural for us. Love is with us from the time we are born. Love gives meaning to why and how we treat others.
3. Love is freedom. Love gives us the liberty and power to determine our own independence. To be the best person possible for yourself and others.
4. Love is our motive. Love motivates us to the greatest joys and rewards we receive in life. Love makes life worth living.
5. Love is growth. Love is a growth in intimacy that can be physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. This involves sharing on a regular basis. Love grows deep and takes root. Love like anything else does not grow overnight.
6. Love is giving and getting an emotional response. I did not say, “Love is feelings and emotions.” Many feel emotions are produced by love. There are many other emotions, not related to love at all. We can experience the greatest feelings and emotions imaginable because of love. If we did not have emotions, we would be robots.
7. Love is the most powerful force on earth. Love gives our life meaning and connects us together. Love keeps us secure and protects us. Love binds us together in many ways. Love is a choice. Love has the power to heal emotional scars and wounds. Love is the opposite of what we fear the most, Loneliness. Love is the essence of God.
Core Values And The Meaning Of Love
Core Values are the new standard for todays culture and society. Aboutmoney.com states, “Core values are traits or qualities that you consider not just worthwhile, they represent an individual’s or organization’s highest priorities, deeply held beliefs, and core, fundamental driving forces. Core values are also called guiding principles because they form a solid core of who you are, what you believe, and who you are and want to be going forward.”
Mypersonalimprovement.com states, “Our personal core values make us who we are and will dictate how we will react to life in general. It is an important part of any personal growth plan and a key factor in shaping your attitude. It should be part of our life lessons we need to look at from time to time.”
“What are values: Important and enduring beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what is good or desirable and what is not. Values exert major influence on the behavior of an individual and serve as broad guidelines in all situations.”
Our own education system in America has adopted common core values as standard teaching “Curriculum.” Core values have moved away from traditional values of the past. Family values, moral and ethical values have now been changed to “INDIVIDUAL” values. This holds true for love. Core values teach, Choose your love. Make it yours. You choose the form of love or sex that makes you happy. If its yours, it is right.
It is normal and human to have self love and self respect. That is part of who we are. It is not normal to value only the things you want. Neither is it normal to say, “My Law Of Love Is Me!”
Core values teach the individual is supreme. Your definition of love and morality is the correct one. It’s right for you. You make your own standard and live by it. It teaches the only standard of values that matter are the ones you choose. No one has the right to make you accept any other standard than the ones you choose.
The New Standard Of Love And Values
What is the meaning of love? So many want one clear, concise definition and statement of love. This is why a concrete definition and meaning of love is confusing. Each person is defining what love is and the value of love by their own interest. They accept the premise that love is all about me and what makes me happy.
Love it’s value and meaning have become “Subjective.” You can no longer hold on to any “Objective Standard” of love or value. The old traditional Judeo-Christian standards of love and practice are becoming obsolete in this society/ culture. New words and definitions, new culture and society, new core values have changed the very concept of love.
I am older and grew up with a different generation. I grew up with a standard called God’s law of love. I have always held to its value, meaning and ethical principals. This law states, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:35-40 KJV).
I see society and culture replacing this law with the new law of “SELF.” Choose their own standard of right and wrong. Value only what you want. Society demands this today in the name of equality and human rights. I think love has been devalued and moved to a new philosophy of the individual. So have the practices and behaviors.
I agree with, “The New American Magazine.” Common core education with self only love and values, have helped foster a new concept and law of love. Our culture, has new words, meanings and values they have adopted. This brings a new standard or substandard concerning Love!
What Is The Meaning Of Love? We now try to answer that question with, What love is and What love is not. But in todays society, even those answers are subjective and subject to change. It is, What does it mean to me? I do not believe you can separate the meaning of love from the value of love. Our value of love drives our expectation of love.
Thoughts, opinions and comments are always welcome. Leave them here.