For this coming Valentine’s Day: A more spiritual look at LOVE

Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune.
By Maramis
Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune.

The following is my most favorite definition of love — it is definitely a working definition. Let’s look at it, line by line.
From Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV):
—Love is patient, love is kind. (Who wouldn’t want our loved ones to be patient with us, to be kind?)
—It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. (We all know those who go around boasting, who think they are better than everyone else and that includes the ones they love. Yet they might secretly be envious of the ones they love because they are not really better than others.)
—It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (If they cannot be given the honor they think they deserve, they will try to dishonor others and make them look lower in the eyes of their public. And who doesn’t know someone who keeps records of everything their loved one does wrong —
shades of “Gaslight.” And the easily angered are those who find it hard to love and easy to rage.)
—Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (When we were young and our parents asked us to tell the truth, if they didn’t like the truth we told, we got punished anyway. Must we go on getting punished for the truth as adults? Does our loved one delight in seeing evil where only truth exists?)
—It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
(If your loved one cannot and will not protect you, who will? If your loved one does not trust you, who will? If the love your beloved vowed to have for you till the end has left you cold and lonely, but you still hope for that love to persevere to the end, and it does not persevere, what hope is there for love?)
So, my philosophy about love, if you will, is that there isn’t enough in this world. And there certainly isn’t enough love of the spiritual kind mentioned above. There isn’t even enough love sometimes in the room we are in. If we enter a room with love in our hearts, that is what will “ooze out” into the room, as opposed to those who enter a room with anger, annoyance, a chip on their shoulder (or a cold shoulder), or worst of all, some kind of hate, whether for a particular person, the group, the subject matter being discussed, or a general expression of what lies deep in their dark, stone-cold hearts.
We don’t all express love in the same way, and we might not all even define love in the same way, but we can all probably agree that for one thing, love means doing no harm to another—or on the more positive side, doing good to another. That might be one way to look at it, even though there are times when we might have to hurt the one we love or find that we have neglected the opportunity to do good.
When we think of various loves we’ve had over the years — or even just the one love of our life — we can probably remember how good it felt to DO GOOD to that person, to go out of our way to show how much that person meant to us. To say yes to their request when we might have wanted to say no, but love spurred us on. To speak kindly when we could have been stirred to anger or annoyance, but we held our tongue or made sure our words did not hurt. Love is what helped us do those things, and will always be our guide in all things if we allow love to have free range in our hearts.
Yes, I insist that we need more love in the world, so I am suggesting we all take the advice of those who say, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” So what that means is, if you want more love in the world, you must love more. Of course, I know some situations are more suited to love than others. For example, there is little room for love in the courtroom or when dealing with an attacker on the streets.
But still, caring about each other as human beings mean (more or less) “there, but for the grace of God, go I.” So, forgiving those who hurt us and loving the seemingly unlovable are probably the admonitions that Jesus would want us to grasp.
You don’t have to be religious to understand that we’re all in this humanity thing together and whether you look at it as mentioned above
or as you could just as easily have fallen into temptation or wound up in some kind of trouble with the law as anyone else, whether or not it was even your fault, you need to see that none of us are perfect yet, however much we may strive to be.
Valentine’s Day comes and goes, but love is here to stay. I may not like some individual as much as I like another, but my heart does not know how not to love. So to those who didn’t know I was loving them, take heart and accept my long- and short-range vibrations of love.
I don’t care what people think. I love them anyway. And I always have more love to spare.
I want to especially send out love to Rolando Larraz, the founder, owner, publisher, and editor in chief of the Las Vegas Tribune and to Don Snook, the production wizard. How fortunate am I to know them both!
I can’t begin to mention all the people who mean so much to me, but I can mention that every single person in my life is significant, some of course more than others, and just because I haven’t met you yet does not mean that I don’t love you.
So there. That should just about cover my views of Valentine’s Day and love.
With uplifting and happy thoughts, and love,
Maramis
* * * * *
Maramis Choufani is the Managing Editor of the Las Vegas Tribune. She
writes a weekly column in this newspaper. To contact Maramis, email her at maramistribune@gmail.com.

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