'Live and Let Love': Stories about Finding It, Keeping It and Appreciating It


However, for a moment I'll put my scholarly shortcomings aside to offer a quick refresher. The English etymology of the word "love" derives from the Germanic form of the Sanskrit lubh—which means desire. And while desire certainly has something to do with feelings that seem like love, desire alone is not love. As we all know, there are so many more forms of love than just all-out-crazy-for-you lust. But lust can be a lot of fun—and sometimes dangerous, which can just add to the rush. Case in point: my college crush, who I'll call John. We were both sophomores when we met. He was a Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity brother and I was an honorary little sister to the fraternity. He and I loved to dance, and somehow our grooves fit. Every time a song from the band New Order would come on at a party, we would find one another and clear the floor. Our connection was rhythmically deep, and I was madly in lust. John was a dangerous bad boy with a lot of hard edges, and an incredibly soft spirit. He was Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing, and I wanted to be his "Baby." He rode a motorcycle, every other word out of his mouth was of the four-letter variety, and when we weren't getting our groove on at fraternity parties we would travel the forty miles into downtown Dallas and dance until the clubs closed.

Live and Let Love

There was always an element of danger when I was with John, and yet I always felt safe, because he had that Alpha male, badass thing going on. There was an abandoned warehouse in downtown Dallas that he knew about that graffiti artists used as a canvas. We would break into it and leave our artistic imprint with a spray can, smoke some weed, and make out. It was in an undesirable and somewhat dangerous part of the city, and a far cry from my church days, but I loved the thrill of it. We were never officially boyfriend and girlfriend, but that was okay, I knew what we had was special, even if jail time was a possible consequence. I was hot for him and his Alpha nature. Philosophy invokes this kind of love as Eros—the part of love constituting sexual desire and passion. Erotic love is fun, it's sometimes dangerous, and I believe it's necessary, for without it none of us would exist. I'm pretty sure John would agree.

The passionate relationship that John and I shared, over time turned into more of a fondness and friendship. Aristotle was obsessed with this kind of love, which he called Philia—a fondness of one's family, friends, political community, job, or discipline. Loving family and friends comes pretty easily to most people. Loving a job is a different story. I realize that in today's world, where so many people are unemployed, the idea that you love what you do is often a foreign concept. In a perfect world, we would all love our work, but life certainly isn't perfect and loving what you do is a luxury that not everyone can afford. I've been fortunate in the work department and found something I love to do, but it wasn't always the case.

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