Ronnie Convery, goes in search of love in traditional – and less traditional – places.
My daughter is getting married next month, so I’m knee-deep in love right now, though it might not seem obvious at first glance.
Chasing a reluctant organist; deciding what to do about people (like me) who don’t like either starter option of haggis or salmon (this is a Scottish wedding. Option three of going hungry is still very much a possibility); deciding if firework package three is really all it’s cracked up to be …
Yet at the root of all these frivolities lies a love story. The manic arrangements are – when you analyse them – manifestations of a desire to commit two lives into a single future of love.
Love can express – or disguise – itself in so many ways that it often comes along and taps us on the shoulder without us realising it.
In the latest offerings from Adamah we present a kind of special Love Actually Edition which explores the topic in a variety of ways.
First up is our new writer Rupen Gahir Kalsi who was awarded third prize in Adamah Media’s Young Writers Competition 2022. Her powerful article explores love in its traditional form of hearts and kisses, romance and rhyme, only to find such manifestations of love inadequate:
“I have always been a lover of love, a petulant recipient of its tougher lessons, and an avid collector of stories about it … To this day I still marvel at the currents of fate which seemingly coalesce around a couple’s first interaction. Meetings that depended on split-second decisions or pure serendipity to happen…”
Rupen explores the insights and wisdom of her native India and offers readers some powerful tips on loving ourselves as a prerequisite for loving others. Read more here.
Lisa Fraser is also exploring love this week, specifically love in the world of social media and its seemingly endless array of motivational quotes. Her thoughtful and challenging article throws up the temptation to follow the chic wisdom of a pithy phrase, but also the absurdity of following such gems of wisdom when they often contradict each other!
“Finding common-sense relationship advice feels good to everyone. Yet, it becomes confusing when we come across dozens of contradictory (and often banal) quotes like: ‘Keep loving, love requires effort.’ Or: ‘If you have to work so much on a relationship, it means your partner is not right for you.'”
Join Lisa as she goes window-shopping for ‘words of wisdom’ and make up your own mind how much trust you should place in them. Browsing starts here!
Our ever-popular columnist from Singapore Nicole Law also has her say on love and relationships this week, and she is pulling no punches. Her article is subtitled ‘Don’t suppress your desires, just aim them better.”
It’s a tough but caring read (Nicole can adopt a kindly tone even when she is challenging you at your most vulnerable point). Here’s a sample: “Embracing our desires is the first step to honouring the ‘fire’ which burns inside us. We do not need to put out the flame but we can learn to control its size.
“How? We could follow the wisdom of asceticism, in which we practise self-control. It is more than adjusting your portion size when eating. It encompasses everything from taking time away from social media to reducing your interactions with people with whom you have an unhealthy relationship.”
This is self-help writing shot through with tough wisdom and gentle compassion. Don’t miss it here.
Love is not just romantic or platonic of course. It’s also familial. And all too often discussions of love leave out the real experts in the field – the elderly. Those who have lived in and out of love for more years than the rest of us.
In a hugely interesting article by Pope Francis no less (abridged from a talk he gave recently) the troubling question is asked, ‘Do we love and value our elderly friends and relatives as we should?’
The Argentine Pope, is typically pugnacious in his response: “Youth is beautiful, but eternal youth is a very dangerous hallucination. Being old is just as important – and beautiful – it is equally important as being young. Let us remember this. The alliance between generations, which restores all ages of life to the human, is our lost gift and we have to get it back…”
Read on – and maybe share the article with friends who have older members in their families – here.
Finally love is a virtue that is also political. The Spanish saint Josemaria Escrivá memorably wrote that ‘love is deeds, not just sweet words’, and that message is very much present in the article on the plight of refugees by Eloise Thompson.
She exposes the short-sightedness of the policy of the UK and other governments which ban refugees from working in their host country until their status is finally settled. Eloise writes: “When our governments restrict refugees’ access to jobs and businesses, they miss out on so much. They fail to acknowledge the entrepreneurial spirit many refugees bring with them, missing out on a rich source of talent and hard-working future citizens who want to make their contributions to society.
“With more than two thirds of refugees today living in protracted situations, keeping refugees at the edges of society by not letting them work is not an intelligent or viable option.”
This is a topical and hugely important issue which brings unnecessary suffering into the lives of people who are already tried by the ordeal of fleeing their native lands. Read the full article here.
And that’s it for this week … lots of challenges, lots of insights but also lots of love – in all its manifestations. Happy reading!
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