12/29 – Love’s Exemplar

Ah, love. Today’s entry references “A Lover’s Complaint”, line 270 and 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Below is the piece of Shakespeare’s sonnet:

Love's arms are peace, 'gainst rule, 'gainst sense, 'gainst shame,
And sweetens, in the suffering pangs it bears,
The aloes of all forces, shocks, and fears.

Next up is verse from The Bible:

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.

The verses from 1 Corinthians are, to borrow the phrase, the Gospel of Love. It delineates, details, and demands what love should be – what it needs to be in its truest form. The power of following the simple step by step instructions found in the verses is that love can be practiced in a way that leaves no injury, or wound. What happens in the sonnet is exactly that – the woman speaking the lines was jilted by a man who left her as soon as he’d gotten enough of her attention. As the entry says, “Love’s arms overwhelm rule, sense, and shame, and so ruined her. It is a sad cynical tale.”

For our students – I think we need to find ways to help them see the power and the greatness of love. Friendly love, family love, relationships love – all of these things need to be sewn close and tightly to our students. They need to be shown what the practice of love should look like and what it can do in their life, and in others. That love can become a weapon that can hurt in terrible ways. That there are things love can turn into that are damaging, painful, and destructive. Some students may know love in the best way. Others may not have had a great relationship with the word. The challenge here is how do we help them see love, and the power it can have in their, and through their life?

I don’t have all of the answers, but I know that we concerted our efforts on teaching on concepts and words like love, compassion, mercy, kindness, grace, hope – this and future generations would take the flames and set the world afire.

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