"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud."
How many times have we been to a wedding and heard those words spoken? Well when you get to be my age, you have heard those words repeated over and over. Sometimes when we hear something so often, it loses its meaning. We are often reminded to step back and re-read those words and find their true meaning again.
As a school counselor, I have heard many sad stories of boyfriend / girlfriend break ups and the heart wrenching stories of a love lost. However, I often ask the student about their relationship and their love for the other person. What I find out is that it wasn't really love at all but what they thought was love.
One of the things I will often ask a student when they are "heartbroken" is, "Would you jump in front of a moving car to push your girlfriend / boyfriend out of harm's way"? It is actually pretty funny hearing some of the responses that I get. Sometimes they look at me like I am crazy and why would I even suggest that. Some students sit there and think about it and then come back and say something like "No, I guess I really wouldn't." Now the reason I say something like this is to make a point. I want them to know that love isn't a feeling, it is an action. When you truly love someone, you will do whatever it takes to make them happy. You will put their feelings in front of yours and you will consider their needs before you think of yours.
I have been married almost 30 years and I know a marriage wouldn't work if the relationships didn't work that way. Many of you may be thinking, "Well isn't one person always getting walked all over or being taken advantage of "? That would be true if only one person was following the basic philosophy mentioned above. However, if both people are putting the needs of the other person in front of their own, then love can work and be quite magical. My wish for you students is that you will try and put the needs of the other person in front of your own. Be patient, kind and do not be envious. The other person doesn't even have to be a boyfriend or girlfriend. Love is shared among friends, family members and even classmates.
I hope everyone will have an enjoyable Valentine's Day and remember what the great philosopher and mathematician Plato said: "The madness of love is the greatest of heaven's blessings..."