A friend of mine once remarked that “love is an action, not a feeling” and that “feelings are not facts.” I didn’t understand it at first, but I have come to believe she was spot on. We hear people say they “love” someone or something, yet their actions do not back up what they claim they feel.
In a greater sense of that thought, when looking at it from a sociological perspective, how do we know when there is love for a community? Do the businesses that say they care about the community they reside in actually show love for their community? What are their actions to support this? What does love of community look like?
When we hear about a “community” being in need, do we stop and think about what that means? Do we think about the people who live there and how they feel? Do we look at the businesses and organizations and see if their actions contribute to the problem or the solution?
If they’re not, then it might be time to take some action to eliminate unloving or negative people or businesses we patronize from our lives.
If they are taking action to contribute to the solutions needed for their community, then we need to take action ourselves as individuals and support them. Community love is community action.
So, the next time you feel love for someone or something, ask yourself what actions you can take to show that love. Then go out and do those things. If you’re wondering what you can do to show more love in your community, here are a few ideas:
- Volunteer at a local school or non-profit organization
- Donate to a local food bank or shelter
- Support a local small business
- Buy fair trade and/or locally made products
- Start a community garden
- Pick up litter in your neighborhood or local park
- Be kind to others!
It’s also important to realize that love is not always easy. It’s not always happy and butterflies. That favorite new sandwich at the local deli is not ALWAYS going to be made perfect or even available every single time you go there.
Just like our children will not always be cute, wonderful, not talking-back-babies full of wonderful mommy-baby moments. Instead, they will eventually grow up to be sometimes difficult teens and sometimes obnoxious adults. But, if we love them and take action in our love for them, they will (usually) turn out okay.
Sometimes, we must do the hard things to show love for someone or something. For example, we might have to sacrifice our own happiness for the greater good or take a stand against something we disagree with. Like saying “no” to your teen and sticking to it despite their outrageous response. Or simply refusing to buy from a company that is contributing to the destruction of our planet. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it.
Is love a feeling or a behavior?
You can only infer how someone is feeling by how they act. Why not be more direct and use the word love to refer to the behavior itself? Very simply, when someone behaves lovingly towards you, they love you. If they behave badly towards you, they don’t love you.
The same thing goes for friendship. I try to explain this very same concept to my youngest teen son struggling through middle school years. In my life so far, I am immensely grateful to say that I have had the same two best friends since middle school, seventh grade, to be exact. We have been friends for more than thirty-seven years! Okay, so I literally just dated myself, but you get the point. We have remained friends for so long because we have taken many actions throughout the years to remain friends and maintain the relationship. Thus, it has produced many wonderful fruits throughout our lives together.
The same goes for any relationship we have, whether it be with our intimate partner, children, parents, friends, or co-workers. We must take regular loving actions toward others, as it will result in deeper connections and stronger relationships.
Words are nice, but actions are what matter.
It’s also important to realize that love is not always reciprocated. And that’s okay too. We can’t control how others feel or behave, but we can control our own actions. So, whether love is reciprocated or not, know that if you behave lovingly, then you are doing the right thing!
Is love mental or physical?
The SparkNotes version is that love is primarily rooted in emotional, spiritual, and mental intimacy, while lust is rooted mainly in physical and sexual intimacy. In a sense, then, to love someone, you don’t necessarily have to be physically attracted to them or even want to have sex with them. Instead, you can love someone for their personality, their sense of humor, the way they make you feel when you’re around them, etc.
Lust, on the other hand, is primarily physical. When you’re lusting after someone, you’re usually not thinking about their personality or what they’re like in the community.
Of course, you can be physically attracted to someone and also love them. But again, the actions in real love, not in lust, are what produce the most loving, long-lasting relationships.
Love is an action not a feeling
When my mother explained love to me, she always pointed to her favorite quote from of one of the best-selling books of all time. It states, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres,”.