From the crib to the grave, we all reach out for someone to love us and for someone we can love. Indeed, love is necessary for survival. Without it, we lose the will to live; our mental and physical vitality lessens; resistance lowers and fatal illnesses can result. When we experience love, we glow a radiance that affects us physically, mentally, socially and spiritually.
For the lack of love, thousands commit suicide each year. Another multitude flock to the divorce courts to free themselves so that they can begin their search for love again. Mental hospitals hold many who, for the want of human affection have slipped beyond the reach of sanity. Battered and neglected children suffer marked signs of neurosis and psychosis. Research has shown that infants who lack a close, affectionate relationship with their mothers not only reveal signs of emotional disturbances but are physically dwarfed as well. Within the homes for senior citizens sit thousands of aged fathers and mothers – unnoticed, unloved and dying a tear at a time for want of affection.
When love fails, marriages fall into ruins and impossible frustrations deluge those involved and those around them. Such emotional pressure results in juvenile delinquency, adult crime, alcoholism and various forms of drug addiction. Finally, the attempt to destroy one’s self may end this ruinous cycle. “It is love that spins the universe and when we fail to use love properly, all life suffers.”
The truth is, we all crave love in huge quantities and sometimes it seems that we can never get enough. Love is, in fact, the single most important force contributing to our total well-being. Impelled by its motivating power, we can forge ahead through life’s bitterest moments and withstand insults and cruelty.
We must be realistic about such wishes, however, for it is unlikely that we will ever be loved as completely as we might wish to be. Anyone expecting unqualified love all the time expects more than is humanly possible from another person. Furthermore, it is only realistic to recognize that – right or wrong – society demands a certain standard of performance before it deems us lovable or even acceptable.