Abstract Scottish Scape.
I was reminded the other day by an ex student of mine how I used to have lessons where I went out of my way to be provocative. I asked the student if she could remind me of one such lesson. She proceeded to tell me how I used to say that there was no such thing as love and that I did not believe in the word love anyway.
I do remember this lesson it was a good lesson and it certainly provoked thought and discussion. I think it also made students consider how we use words often without thought of what we are saying.
The lesson began with me asking all of the students to write at least one sentence using the word love. The results were then read out. Let me tell you there was hardly ever a time when I did not get a different answer from each student. So there were as many definitions of Love as the number of students, and yes there were always the ones that spoke of making love and relating love to something else.
So I would then ask, "How can you say you love a burger and then say you love James?" Surely that cannot be the same?
"Ah, your just being funny Mr T."
I would respond by saying, "No I am being serious."
So the lesson went on. I would point out that in our language we only have one word for Love and yet we use it in a multitude of ways. The ancient Greeks had six words for Love, each used for different occasions.
Eros - Sexual passion.
Philos - Deep love for friends and family.
Ludos - Playful love.
Pragma - Long standing love.
Philautia - Love of self.
Agape - A deep love that gives without seeking in return.
When we only have one word for Love we should use it with care and thought and meaning. It is a word that should not be used lightly or it becomes meaningless.