Sunday, November 28, 2010
As we close out Thanksgiving and lead into the Christmas and New Year’s holidays, I would like to take a moment to reflect on what I am truly thankful for… LOVE.
In a recent story by Time magazine based on a survey by the Pew Research Center, it was implied that marriage was no longer looked upon favorably and that the institution of marriage was dying! The survey and report went on to further state that an increasing percentage of Americans no longer desire to be married and feel as if the institution of marriage is a dying form and may even be obsolete. Suffice to say, this has caused a firestorm and there have been proponents from both sides advocating their points. From USA Today to MSNBC to across the pond and the BBC, to bloggers far and wide, such as BMWK, this has been debated over and over again.
But let’s look at it from a different perspective. The institution and sanctity of marriage, just as the embodiment of any corporation, organization, and the church, is based on the people. The persons involved determine how the institution is developed and perceived. It’s the people who help the company grow, help the organization prosper, make the institution. The blueprints have been the same for centuries and what marriage was ordained for has not changed; what has changed are peoples’ belief, dedication, and reverence towards marriage. Whereas marriage was once looked upon by the majority as the culmination of a beautiful courtship, the perfect union of soulmates, the outward display of love and longevity, it is now viewed as a short-term contractual agreement, a business arrangement, a photo op or press release. More often than not, in today’s society, marriage is embarked on with little thought or preparation beyond the ceremony, as many do not value or understand the purpose of marriage or their purpose in a marriage.
With all of that said, the institution hasn’t failed, the people have failed the institution. While the divorce rate is increasing, please remember you have to be married first in order to get divorced! People haven’t abandoned marriage, they just don’t know how to be married. There is a difference. What has been lost, forgotten, and disregarded is the love that brought them together. Whatever events led to getting married, there was some form of love that guided the parties to unify and become one and somehow that love wasn’t developed and nurtured. A marriage is no different than any other job. It requires dedication, constant effort, strategy meetings, budget analysis, team work, and any other duties as they may arise. However the rewards far outweigh any salary, promotion, accolades, or awards, for love is immeasurable and exceeds any expectations. That which you receive from your job pales in comparison from all you gain from your marriage. The two aren’t in the same hemisphere.
So on this Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the gift of love. From all those I have loved and loved me, whether familial or relational, I am grateful to know what love is and to experience it for myself. I once questioned whether it was better to love and have lost than to never have loved at all. I no longer wonder because to love means to experience life at its fullest, beyond any conceivable notion. Love tends to take you places you never knew possible and make you feel and experience things you never knew existed. Even in loss, love is grand. Without love you may have never explored the possibilities or allowed for the opportunities. Even when those we have loved are no longer with us, there is a place in our innermost being, in our heart, that has been transformed, that has grown, because we loved and were loved. Even in our darkest times, the slightest memory, feeling of love can turn the most bleak of situations around. Love is a cure for all ailments and is the answer to most questions. Love can be the solution and the remedy when applied properly.
As we move into the season of celebrating and giving, I thank all of you who one way or another affected my life and shown love and shown me how to love. Love is ever-evolving and is a learned trait. We learn what love is from our surroundings, people we encounter, but we learn how to love from our circumstances and experiences. No matter the outcome, I know what love can be. I know its power and its pain, its joy and its turmoil, what it can give and what it can take away, and I would never trade any of it. Never count out love, never give up on love, never run away from love. At the end of the day, when it’s all said and done, it’s all we may have left.
Remember, U, Me, and We = Love