How would you define love? Go ahead, I’ll give you a minute…
Not so easy, is it? We use the word so often, and yet when we try to actually decipher what it means, we often come up blank.
That’s what happened to many of the people who were asked that question on camera by Soul Pancake. It’s such an all-encompassing word, that few knew how to articulate their thoughts on it immediately. A few found themselves totally stumped, while others started quoting the iconic movie Love Story — “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” Everyone had a moment though, whether it be a reflective moment, or a spurt of laughter, or genuine shock at the sheer weight of the word “love”.
I found some of the most honest answers came from kids (naturally), because they weren’t afraid to admit that the answer is “complicated.” The range of answers was as wide as the spectrum of ages represented. Some had a cynical perspective — one guy said, “Love is the greatest marketing campaign ever invented” — while others connected the word to doing something you wouldn’t do normally just to be with the person for which you feel it. However, while no one definition was the same, everyone agreed in one way or another that love is a powerful thing. Check out all the various definitions below.
I love so many of these responses, but my favorite was the 31-year-old girl who really took her time to come up with an answer, and just managed, “I don’t know, it’s pretty great, I guess you can’t describe it.” I feel the same. Love to me holds so many different meanings, it’s impossible to sum up in one definition. Just grammatically speaking, it’s a noun, it’s a verb — you can use it to affect others, or it can easily be turned around and affect you. If we feel like we’re lacking it, we search for it endlessly everyday. As a writer, there’s never a time I’m not writing on an aspect of it, and even though I feel like I’ve found it, keeping it strong and flowing is a constant effort.
Like fire, it’s difficult to contain, and even if you have, it’s so intense and intangible, you feel like you might lose it at any moment. But, I suppose, that’s what makes it so powerful. If we could nail it down easily, and pin a meaning on it, we wouldn’t strive for it so relentlessly.
I’m one of those people who says “love” a lot, maybe in part because I think if I spread it around it will keep coursing stronger in my life and in the world. Love has bound me to people who have made my existence better and brighter, and based on this video, I think it does the same for many many others. From 5 to 105, people know it’s a strong, beautiful, complicated, wonderful thing. So even if you don’t know how to define it for yourself, if you feel it, don’t be afraid to say it out loud.