Love in Every Way

Beverly Foster , Staff Reporter

Happy Valentine’s Day! It is important to remember that love comes in various forms and can be shown to anyone and everyone. Occasionally, we can get so caught up in work and school that we forget to show someone that we love them. We can become so focused on getting and staying ahead that we forget to check-in and talk with those we care for. Take time to appreciate and reciprocate the love we have for those around us. Love is not bound between just two people. It can be spread by one to all.

I believe people often forget how many layers of love exist outside of the romantic and platonic categories. Love’s meaning runs much deeper than any dictionary definition. Everyone has their own unique interpretation of what love is. For example, love does not have to come with flashy materialistic items. It does not have to be expensive. It does not have to be reserved for your significant other only. Love is limitless.

Love for your friends and family is considered platonic. This platonic love can be categorized as philia (friendly love) and storage (family love). To express your love platonically, tell your friends and family how grateful you are for everything they have done for you. They listen to you talk about anything and everything that may bother them at a specific time, and they in turn expect to be able to come to you for the same things. Let them know they can count on you as well. They will appreciate the thought and take you up on that offer if they need to. My best friends are always willing to listen to me talk about my mental health, and I always try to make it up to them by doing the same. Personally, I am grateful that the people in my life feel this way toward me.

Kindness can potentially fall into the agape form of love, also recognized as universal love, according to Merriam-Webster. When walking around campus, at work, or even out shopping, try smiling and saying hello to someone. This is a kind gesture. Kindness, as defined by the Oxford dictionary, is the quality of being friendly, generous and considerate. It is an extension of love. Next time you see someone who looks like they are having a tough time, take a moment of selflessness to smile at them. One act of kindness often starts a domino effect, meaning it spreads like wildfire. The little things are important.

Other ways to create the domino-effect of platonic love and kindness is to let your professors know you appreciate all that they do for you. They spend a lot of time planning out each class period which demonstrates how much they care about your education. These professors are willing to meet with students outside of class to help them achieve success in any way they can. Some professors might love it if their students stopped a moment to say a quick hello to show they care.

Another type of love is Eros, defined as passionate love. This is what we consider to be romantic love. There are many ways to prove that you love someone through Eros. For example, listen to your significant other. Be present and pay attention to your loved one through both good and bad times. Take note of what your significant other likes and dislikes. Check in with them occasionally to see how their day is going. Again, the little things count the most as a way of showing affection.

Above all, love yourself. It is easy to get caught up with work and school, and it is okay to take a few steps back to breathe. It should not be expected of you to be able to keep adding stress to yourself if it becomes overwhelming. It is okay to recognize that you need a moment to recharge before continuing your routine again, regardless of circumstance. However, do not let yourself fall behind from stress. Believe that you will get your work done. Things will smooth out. If self-love is something you struggle with, you can learn through the eyes of anyone and everyone you know. We sometimes become blind when we see ourselves and may need an outside viewpoint to show us how much we are cared for. In time, you can learn to love and accept yourself. You are worth more than you think you are. Remember that you as a person are valid and you have a voice that matters. Do not be afraid to be you.