As you know (those who are family / friends / have read my articles), at my previous job on October 15, 2021, I was given a directive not to say the word “love.” “Love” is now on a list of “sexually charged” words.
How did the word “love” become such bad word? A “sexually charged” word? Unfortunately, one possible answer is many people do not know what the word “love” means. I thought to myself, if I used the word “hate,” would I be given such a directive? At work, I have used the word hate. I hate oatmeal raisin cookies. I hate the Forty-Niners. I hate the Los Angeles Dodgers. I am sure I have used the word hate in the context of my work. I hate wrong notes. I hate lazy people. I hate people who blame others for their actions. I never had a directive not to say the word “hate.”
I believe the problem with the word “love” and teenagers is no one has taught teenagers the context of “love.”
I guess for some sad and strange reason, we know the context of the word “hate.”
For the heck of it, I wanted to see if there are any different words to say “hate” as there are different words to say “love.” There are none. “Hate” is “hate.” People understand the word “hate.” But, how come?
How do we know that “I hate the Los Angeles Dodgers” is very different than telling someone, “I hate you?” We just know there is a difference.
Since the spring semester 1988 at the University of the Pacific, I have rarely – if ever – told someone, “I hate you.” I was the Fraternity Education Officer (FEO). As FEO, I was in charge of training / taking care of the pledges (worms) for our fraternity. Well, we had an agreement that our “professional” fraternity was going to be a more “professional” fraternity for the infamous “Hell Night.” When I was a pledge (worm), it was “Hell Night,” and I will leave your imagination to think what that night was like (giggle). On this “Hell Night – 1988,” we were going to still put the pledges (worms) through their “Hell Night” but temper it down just a bit. Unfortunately, that was not going to be the case. Our fraternity president decided we needed to give the pledges their due “hell” for the evening. To this date (July 19, 2022), some 34 years later, I can remember saying to the fraternity president, “I hate you.” The expression on this face. The “what did you say to me?” I understood the negative power from that phrase. I said it again. This time I said it with his name. “I hate you “Danny.” (Fictional name) And I walked away and did not participate in that “Hell Night,” nor many other activities my senior year in that fraternity.
So, why is “hate” such a more understood word than “love?” I don’t know. I am saddened by the fact that “love” is such a complex word. Is it a complex word because our nation is becoming more secular? Less educated in Greek? Latin? Root words? We don’t know what love is? Doesn’t that ignorance of such a beautiful & special word – LOVE – cause you to be a bit sad? Maybe even concerned? Maybe if we knew what LOVE is, we would be more kind! More compassionate. More – dare I say – HUMAN!
So, as there is one definition of the word hate, there are actually four Greek words for the word “love.”
- Storge – Familial Love. Greek word for natual affection – such as the love of a parent toward a child, “cherishing one’s kindred, especially parents or children.” In social psychology, storge is the form of love between friends. Storge may be used as a general term to describe the love between exceptional friends, and the desire for them to care compassionately for one another.
- Philia – Means friendship or affectionate love in modern Greek. It is a dispassionate virtuous love, a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friend, family, and community, and requires, virtue, equality and familiarity. In ancient text, philos denoted a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers.
- Eros – passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. The Modern Greek word “eros” means” intimate love;” however, eros does not have to be sexual in nature. Eros can be interpreted as love for someone who you love more than the philia, love of friendship. It can also apply to dating relationships as well as marriage.
- Agape – means “love” (unconditional love) in modern day Greek, such as in the term s’agapo, which means “I love you.” In Ancient Gree, it often refers to a general affection or deeper sense of “true love” rather than the attraction suggested by “eros.” Agape is used in the Biblical passage known as the “love chapter”, 1 Corinthians 13, and is described there and throughout the New Testament as sacrificial love. Agape is also used in ancient texts to denote feelings for one’s children and the feelings for a spouse, and it was also used to refer to a love feast. It can also be described as the feeling of being content or holding one in high regard. Agape was appropriated by Christians for use to express the unconditional love of God. Greek words for love : definition of Greek words for love and synonyms of Greek words for love (English) (sensagent.com)
I will continue to tell people who are close to me or people who choose to allow me to be a part of their lives, “I love you.” I know what I mean. Do you know what I mean? How about you be Inigo Montoya and say something similar to, “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.” Maybe you don’t know what “love” means. Give me the opportunity to teach you! Also, I have no problem NOT telling you “I love you” if you request me not to say that phrase! You know why I have no problem meeting that request to NOT SAY, “I love you?” Because out of “love” and respect, I will not say it to you. “I see what you did there, Paul.”
As we continue to fight becoming the next secular waste land in the world, let’s fight to keep the word “love” in our lexicon. We have people in our nation (not as many as we think there are; they’re just loud and rather annoying) who are changing many of the meaning of words. Changing our language! Those who control language control the territory!
We know our nation is in trouble when there are public-school districts directing their teachers when talking to their students do not use the word “love.” WOW! Compared to the other questionable subjects being taught to our nation’s children, the educational leaders believe the word “love” is inappropriate? “Love” is a “sexually charged” word. (I have the paperwork with the directive) You want your children in a school that the word “love” will not be taught or said?! You want that? You agree with that? Then, I will say to you: You need to check yourself, as well.
On my tombstone, I request, “Here lies a teacher who was told by administrators in two California districts, ‘the problem with you Mr. Everts is – you love your students too much and you use the word ‘love’ far too often.'” I am more than conformable / content with being criticized / admonished for saying to my students, “I love ya.” I am certain that if teachers / adults took the time to teach the students the “Four Loves,” we would see more confident / loving human beings! There is not enough “love” in this world and there will be less “love” if we do not defend the use of the word “love.” There is not enough time teaching the “classics.” “Classics” such as Four Types of Love – Official Site | CSLewis.com
Please read Lois Lowry’s THE GIVER. I have cited this dialogue many times. We are heading for this world. Sadly.
“Do you love me?”
There was an awkward silence for a moment. Then Father gave a little chuckle. “Jonas. You, of all people. Precision of language, please!”
“What do you mean?” Jonas asked. Amusement was not at all what he had anticipated.
“Your father means that you used a very generalized word, so meaningless that it’s become almost obsolete,” his mother explained carefully.
Jonas stared at them. Meaningless? He had never before felt anything as meaningful as the memory.
“And of course, our community can’t function smoothly if people don’t use precise language. You could ask, ‘Do you enjoy me?’ The answer is ‘Yes,'” his mother said.
“Or” his father suggested, “‘Do you take pride in my accomplishments?’ And the answer is wholeheartedly ‘Yes.'”
“Do you understand why it’s inappropriate to use a word like ‘love’?” Mother asked.
Jonas nodded. “Yes, thank you, I do,” he replied slowly.
It was his first lie to his parents.”
― The Giver
I LOVE YOU!