Everyone following the current trend of social media will notice that today’s updates revolve around what is called “self love”, such as “love yourself more than anyone else”, “nobody will love you more than yourself”, and so forth.
While there is no gainsaying that loving oneself is a brilliant idea, fetishism for “self love” is a recipe for selfish love.
Selfish love is a dangerous love game, in which each lover does not want to overlook some faults of a partner and is not ready to surrender some of his/her rights. Self love is an advocacy for individualism and weakening of community sentiment.
Love is a project. We should not embark on it for personal aggrandizement or selfish gain.
There is a myth that when someone truly loves me, he/she will do everything necessary to please me, pamper me and provide all that I desire. This is an illusionary aspect of love, because love has thousands of beautiful names, like such cognate terms as infatuation, crush on, romance and passion. But ugly ones do exist.
Let me give it two labels: love is a “necessary evil” and metaphorically “a pregnancy”.
It is a necessary evil because we know or saw how possible we can suffer in it but we still venture out to start loving someone. It is also a pregnancy because it is a hazardous, difficult and unpredictable adventure, yet we take the risk of involving in it.
Love’s dilemma is indicative of its inability to guarantee permanent happiness. In the context of true love, conflict does erupt due to misunderstanding; heart break may happen due to external forces, like third lover (which Georg Simmel called tersien gurding ) conspiracy or parental interference. Unrequited love is also possible because there can be one-sided love which is still true to one but not to the other.
If love is a true love, it should stand the test of time. Truth is indivisible and so is true love. If love is true, it should be guided by reason because partners are aware of the factors that unite them, such as Godliness, relevance of a partner to the society, community service or sincerity. This is what makes true love a reliable love, because all other factors are not reliable since they are not sustainable. The sustainability of Godliness and community service, for instance, is predicated in the fact that millions of people have been immortalized although they have died thousands of years ago, because of their service to God and to humanity.
Mutually benefiting each other or complementing each other is natural in love, because they presumably represent the immediate beneficiaries of the love. But the aim of this complementarity should be geared towards building the capacity of each other to make each other relevant to society.
In other words, true love should also be built on the basis of its purpose beyond the circle of the lovers. It should be of immense benefit to the off-springs and the society at large.
In sum, true lovers should build an Eldorado, exemplary love life and unforgettable love story, more than the Romeo and Juliet’s or Majnun and Layla’s because its purpose is not restricted to self love or the passion the lovers share, but also to the wider world.
Excerpt from chapter three: True Love is for Humanity.
Jamilu Ibrahim Mukhtar