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Love: the Four Letter Word

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Love, the four letter word that binds us all together. Whether it is the love of a significant other or your best friend, love is the glue to all relationships. Love is important as it give purpose and significance to bonds created with others. When you truly love another, the love for them is put above yourself. The main types of love are Companionship Love, Romantic or Sexual Love, Family Love, Friendship Love and Charity Love, all of which are not only important to have in life, but influences the way we interact with others in the world around us. The Greek word for companionship, Hetaireia, explains the love that is found between classmates, comrades or coworkers. This type of love is important to have and experience in one’s life because it allows us to show simple kindness to others. We experience Hetaireia when we have classmates that we talk to in the hallway, cafeteria line, or during class. Hetaireia is based on acquaintances that we only usually speak with about a shared or common interest or goal.

In short, the so called friends or better termed acquaintances or buddies are generally friends by circumstance. This meaning that without the upcoming essay or the new song that has come out, people that we share Hetaireia with have no emotional closness with. Although companionship with others is not always overly emotional, it makes us well rounded because it provides relationships with people with whom we share common interests, people with whom we can talk to about lighter subjects, and leave the heavy lifting to people we are closer with. Romantic love, the type of love that first comes to mind when one thinks of hearts and roses was known to the Greeks as Eros. Eros is the love that is sexual; it is passionate, spontaneous and can be instinctive. This type of love is the love where one falls in. Eros is important to daily life because it allows us to be free with a significant other. As the love of mutual attraction, Eros needs both parties to participate in order to work, and it is completely emotional.

Romantic love is usually experienced with the persons who are under or want to go through with the Sacrament of Marriage, though it is not limited to married couples. Furthermore, Eros gives meaning to life, it always one to feel free with a special other. On the whole, Eros influences in the way we interact with others around us, by giving us the passion and the spontaneity that makes our lives better. Storge was known to the Greeks as the familial love that brings families together. Family love is the love is experienced in everyday life, as it is shared between a parent and child. This is the type of love that is unconditional, the type of love that makes one feel “safe”. Storge does not have to have been earned by any of the participants; it is given freely, and without any need for return, though it is usually is given back in the same way. In addition, the love one has for family is generally very emotional, and with deep attachments. This makes are life well rounded because the natural love that is given to us as children can influence the way we treat other people for the rest of our lives, as people who receive good, generally give back good.

Though this is not always the case, Storge is still very important for all people, making everyone involved feel cherished. As can be seen, Storge is very important to have in life, and influences the way we interact with others. The next type of love was known to the Greeks of Philia or Friendship. Philia is the love that is expressed between two friends. In Philia, the love between two friends is mutual, meaning it is a two-way street. Also, it is supportive, because we need others to have someone to lean on when the going gets tough. The Philia that is shared with another person should be treated with respect, as it is hard to find someone with whom you could disclose anything about yourself and still be sure of their trust or affections. Jesus believed that friendship is a gift that must be passed on to others. Also, Philia makes us well rounded because it is the love that we give freely, without needing to give, but we do anyway.

Given these points, Philia is important to have within our lives, and guides the way that we interact with others. Finally, the last type of love is Agape, which is the word for charity in Greek. Agape is the act or love of whishing others well, even when they do not and cannot do anything in return. It is loving, even your enemies with all your heart. Additionally, charity-like love involves being able to sacrifice, and be unconditional. It is treating others the way you want to be treated. This type of love is present in everyday life by people helping others in need, without waiting for something in return. It is seen in people that do charity work to help others, or even holding an elevator door for someone you do not know. Agape is the love we are called to give as Christians. In simpler terms, Agape makes our lives more significant or well-rounded. Without Agape, our lives would not be of importance, as we would not have anything that makes us humane, which is the thought of caring for another. In short, agape fills our lives with importance, and forms the way we connect with others.

The five types of love that comes out of Companionship, Romance, Family, Friendship, and Charity, are the five types of loves that should come into play within our daily lives. These types of love fill our lives with the joy of other people, and changes the way we act around others. The best representation of these types of love can be described as “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Cor.13:4-7) In summary, without these types of love, our lives would not be what make us human, or in another word, humane.

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