Love. A concept pondered by many a great thinker, philosopher and all round know-it-all. Type ‘love’ into Google and you’re greeted with a wealth of material ranging from the poppy to the soppy; everybody has an opinion.
The Beatles told us “all you need is love”. Dr Seuss’s revered wisdom states “you know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.” Sophocles wades into the debate, declaring “one word frees us from all the weight and pain of life: that word is love.” Endless wedding congregations have been reminded of the infamous words of 1 Corinthians 13 verses 4-7: “Love is patient, love is kind…” I could go on.
If you’re feeling particularly brave you can try and make some sense of Woody Allen: “To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer. To suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy then is to suffer. But suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness.”
Now your brain probably hurts as much as mine, so maybe you’ll agree that four-year-old Terri’s nine word offering – “love is what makes you smile when you’re tired” – hits the nail on the head. We can philosophize all we want but nothing quite beats the black-and-white understanding of a child.