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Love Conquers All

Old 04-16-2007, 12:01 PM
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Love Conquers All

A friend of mine sent me this to post on my blog, and I thought you guys would appreciate it. It's a new way of interpreting the saying, "Love Conquers All..." that's kind of perfect for the loved ones of addicts:

For centuries upon centuries, we have been misinterpreting this framed trio of words. The uninvormed masses breathlessly held up this dwarfish phase as a justification for snogging in public squares, abandoning wives, cuckolding husbands, for the escalating divorce rate, for swarms of ******* children begging for handouts in the Whitechapel and Aldgate tube stations--when in fact, there is nothing remotely encouraging or cheerful about this oft-quoted phrase. The Latin poet wrote "Amor vincit omnia" or "Love conquers all." He did not write, "Love frees all" or "liberates" all, and therein lies the first degree of our flagrant misunderstanding. Conquer: to defeat, subjugate, massacre, cream, make mincemeat out of. Surely, this cannot be a positive thing. And then, he wrote "conquers ALL"--not exclusively the unpleasant things, destitution, assassination, burglary, but ALL, including pleasure, peace, common sense, liberty and self-determination. And thus we may appreciate that Virgil's words are not encouragement, but rather a caveat, a cue to evade, shirk, elude the feeling at all costs, else we risk the massacre of the things we hold most dear, including our sense of self.
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Old 04-16-2007, 02:04 PM
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Hm. I thought love was a good thing. I'd never "elude the feeling at all costs" no matter what Virgil thought. But romantic love gets us into so much trouble as a species.

It's the top-forty-songs, TV-sitcom, romantic-movie kind of love that gets us in trouble -- that idea that we should love each other through thick and thin no matter how much it hurts, how much abuse we're taking, no matter whether the object of our love loves us back, no matter that we're lied to and taken advantage of. Just like in the sitcom, prince charming will come, or the long-suffering girl gets the guy of her dreams, and we'll kiss and make up at the end.

Drilled into our head from childhood: if we aren't in love, or if someone isn't in love with us, then we may as well be dead. We must do everything we can to make sure people love us, no matter what the price is. All good codies learned it sooo well.

I may be some kind of social freak, but I'm not at all interested in that kind of love any more.

I believe in the love you read about in the poem Wandering Around an Albuquerque Airport Terminal by Naomi Shihab Nye. Eternal, powerful, and based in respect and compassion.

Love conquers whatever you're willing to let it conquer.

Just my 0.02.
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