First of all, I think there is a pressing need to revise the English dictionary and re-define the meaning of many words, including love. In the past few months, I have been thinking a lot about it. How people throw this precious word around; and how it has almost lost its meaning and true value.
This guy my friend likes, sends her a text and writes,
“I love you very much. Always remember that, in each and every day of your life. We may have our ups and downs but that love will never change…”
My friend is thrilled and shows it to me. Am a bit envious and it gets me deep in thought. I am like,
“Wow! Real love actually exists.”
It sounds pretty genuine. Only a few days later, the guy ends it with her. She has been sick, in real pain and at the same time dealing with exams. The guy is pretty much aware of this. In fact, from what happens, I think the guy has been getting tired of her whining.
So the couple ‘in love’ is texting. My friend is saying how she is happy because of him, and the guy, out of the blues says that she needs a break. My friend is hurt but stays cool. However, the guy continues to text her. So she asks him, what a ‘break’ means. He says that was meant in a different context. There is a back-and-forth exchange of hurtful words and within a couple of minutes, they break up. Just like that.
I laugh as I read their texts. My friend gives me a dumb look, and then starts laughing too. I cannot even see why they were arguing. People break up because of serious stuff, right? Like promiscuity… However, a simple misunderstanding of English words; English! The language that came to Africa on a plastic ship causes them to break up. Now, it is not only the word ‘break’ that brought up issues.
This guy, Mr. Prince Charming, also uses the word ‘love’ a lot.
“I love that idea babe” “I love the way you have said it” “I love the way you…”
He was just throwing the word ‘love’ around… Just dishing it around like bananas …or whatever else is dished around?
As I leave her house that day, I also ask my friend to work on her mood swings. Just take a chill-pill… go dive in a lake or something.
But it got me thinking, what the hell did he mean by that beautiful message? Please read it again… Isn’t it so meaningful? Did we miss a memo? Has meaning of love changed over the years? Is it only for when things are good? Is it only for people who have good English? Is it for people who are perfect, people in good health and with no problems?
I will not blame him though; he is misguided like many people today are. Some friends are there, only when things are okay but leave as soon as things get real. Right? Nobody is perfect though, but I think we all need to understand what love is.
The media has been incessant in pressuring people to find true love. Some movies have shown people going to extreme extents to show it. Some people stop planes and trains, some cross the oceans, some donate their hearts to their sick loved ones, some even kill others to save the lives of their loved ones … It’s crazy what people do for love. But that’s Television and theatre. How close is it to real life?
The songs on our radio stations have brought about a different meaning to love. When an artiste says he wants to love you, it’s a cleaned-up language to mean that he wants to get to bed with you. This gets me annoyed because I know what love is.
I love my family… Do we argue a lot? Yes. Do we disappoint each other sometimes? Yes. Do I want to hide away from them sometimes? Yes. But I would not trade them for any other family in this world. They are priceless. I love them very much. Uh-huh…
When we were kids, my younger sister and I would occasionally fight. Like annoy each other so much that we would throw punches at each other. My sister has always been stronger and my older brother can attest to that. I mean she throws everything at you; from mum’s heels, to a tomato, to a tin of shoe polish, to a sufuria, to a plate of arrow roots… just anything that can be thrown will be coming right at your face. Trust me, she barely misses. Any time she got angry we would flee the vicinity.
You would know Kume-thoka!
We still fight (verbally) amongst each other but the worst thing an ‘outsider’ can do is to hurt either of us, because we will be coming at you, together, full force… to obliterate you.
Ever heard someone say that this guy is a fool but he is MY FOOL? That, I believe, is true love. You accept that person with all their flaws and their pros.
Love is more than a feeling. It’s more than what that person makes you feel inside. It’s not about you, but about them.
These days, people are throwing that word around. You tell a guy that you love him or a tell a girl that you are afraid of losing them; only that’s not it. You simply like the way they look, they way they smell or the things they own. It is actually about what they make you feel and if someone else, that makes you feel better than this comes along, you will not think twice about leaving the first lady or the guy. It is not that you are afraid of losing them, you are afraid of being alone. And it’s a wrong perception of love… very selfish of us.
This is what it should mean when I throw those ‘love bombs’ at someone. That if they lost all they have today, I’d stay by them. If they went crazy, as in lost their mind or memory, I’d stick by them. I would actually be willing to sacrifice my life so that they live. No matter what they did, they would remain precious to me. If they would go to jail, I’d wait for them. If they got lost, I would spend the rest of my life looking for them. With love, there is no giving up; you work it out all through.
How many people would you do this for?
But don’t misquote me; a friend of mine once sang in my African language,
“There a thin line between to love and to be misused” (A story for another day)
Most importantly, let’s think about the unconditional love of God. The kind of love that does not chose who you are or what your background is. He loves you regardless of your class in the society. It is the kind of love that does not care what you have done in the past or what problems you currently have. This is the kind of love that remembers the forgotten, the poor, the sick and the old; the abandoned, the lonely, the bereft and even the lost. It is this kind of unfailing love that you can rely on when everything else fails.
Isn’t this what Christmas is all about? Not about what you eat, not about the parties and family reunions. It is not even about Santa and snow. It is about remembering the love of God in our lives. To meditate on what He means to us. To recall how many times you screwed up, yet He did not abandon you. It is a time to remember His ultimate sacrifice on the cross. Above all, to demonstrate His perfect love to others
Let’s show compassion and also forgive each other. Remember to share your food and drinks, invite someone over, visit a lonely or sick person or even be a friend to an orphaned child. Plant a tree or volunteer to clean up your local area. Make it less about you. Let’s show the love of Christ to each other.
Have a Merry… Merry Christmas!!