Love: A Language of Inspiration
As many know love is a strong source. It can inspire someone to be brave, to sacrifice, to fight or even to die. The Greek language has multiple words that identify the different degrees of feelings and actions that define the complexity of love. The first of just a few that will be focused on is Agape. By definition it means, brotherly love, charity; the love of God for man and of man for God (“Greek Words for Love.”). Agape is a love of sacrifice, expressed by one’s actions. One community example of this is the work that is done at the Daystar Life Center right here in St. Petersburg Florida. Starting off as a small parish ministry, Daystar has grown into a fruitful organization that helps the physically and economically challenged individuals of the area. The individuals of Daystar exhibit a love of service and community.
Phileo, is a love of warmth or fondness. By definition it means to be a friend to or have affection for (“Greek Words for Love.”). This type of love brings to mind the relationships built on college campuses. The bonds that are formed in college serve for more than the purpose of companionship. They act as support systems, reference points, forms of encouragement, and opportunities for development. Students are able to share their class and life struggles, a connection that allows individuals to relate on their common interest, forming life-long ties. College is a location that constructs the love of friendship.
Eros, is a passionate love. It is defined as an intimate or romantic form of love (“Greek Words for Love.”). Often when the word “love” is used, it is in reference to the adoring feelings someone has for another individual that they are attracted to. It is talked about in songs, shown in movies, and observed first-hand in society every day. An Eros love is usually sparked by some form of infatuation, sometimes built on the foundation of friendships, chance encounters, compatible life paths, or even sought out connection. Love of this kind is frequently made known to the public through the commitment of a life-long vow such as marriage or a domestic partnership. A love of an Eros form has the power to concur, inspire, and even destroy.
Finally Storge, is known as a family and friendship love. It is defined as a wide-ranging force which can apply between family members, friends, pets and owners, companions or colleagues (“Greek Words for Love.”). The all consuming love of Storge is a societal love. It moves individuals to assist their neighbors, to provide for their families and to share with their friends. It is stated as a forgiving love, stemmed from sacrifice that leads one to feel secure, comfortable and safe (“Greek Words for Love.”). The reassuring feeling that one acquires from such a giving type of love makes anything feel possible.
In the wise words of Mahatma Gandhi “Where there is love there is life.” Let’s love with open hearts, beyond the distance of the human eye or the recognition of the human touch. Let words become statements of pure admiration, not hatred and let actions only exist for the betterment of self and society. Let love be the standard of life.
“Greek Words for Love.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 01 Apr. 2015.