“All you need is love” so say the Beatles. Having decided to name our show after the iconic British rock song, it got me thinking – is love all we need? I am a big proponent of loving thy neighbor, a concept that seems we always need to be reminded about. Some would say that we need all the more reminding ‘these days,’ citing a long list of examples alluding to how particularly bad, negative, intolerant, aggressive, rude, and anti-social we’ve become.
As I reflect back through history however, I feel like humans have always needed to be reminded to love each other. Even though it seems like it, I don’t believe today in 2019, we love each other any more or less than we have for the last 2000 years or so: it’s part of the human condition.
What is love?
But what is love? If love, as defined by my computer dictionary, is “an intense feeling of deep affection,” then it seems overwhelming to have to muster that feeling up for every single person on the planet – AND their dog. The part of that definition that calls love a feeling doesn’t sit right with me and seems to fall short of what living love on a daily basis seems to require – action. I don’t think it’s possible to feel love all the time and I’m pretty sure the Beatles didn’t mean that we just need to sit around feeling deep affection for one another. There must be more to love than that. I believe that real love requires actions even when you don’t feel ‘deep affection.’
There’s a verse from the Bible that is often read at weddings that outlines a lot of things that love is. According to Saint Paul in his letter to the Corinthians, love is:
“4… patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
In my opinion, this passages provides a great starting point from which to get a better understanding of what love really is and at the core seems to be self-sacrifice. Paul suggests to successfully ‘love’ you have to put the needs of others before your own. I relish how universal this passage is. It was written for a specific people in a specific time, but it is still so relevant today and useful for all sorts of relationships and interactions with each other.
As it’s Pride month in many parts of the world, it’s interesting to me that there was once a “love that dare not speak its name.” This was an allusive term for homosexuality, first appearing in ‘Two Loves’, a poem by British author Lord Alfred Douglas (1870–1945.) The phrase, which sounds a little bit like the evil character Voldemort or “he-who-must-not-be-named” from Harry Potter, is popularly associated with Oscar Wilde as a result of its use during his trial for homosexual offenses in 1895.
With pride celebrations in full swing, I’ve reflected on how far we’ve come in the last hundred years and I am filled with gratitude for the people who fought so hard to ensure that LOVE IS LOVE. Branden and I are able to live and work together AND love one another freely. Yes, there is still work to be done in many parts of the world regarding the rights of LGBTQI+ people, but we should pause for a minute in gratitude for the sacrifices made and what they’ve taught us about what love really is.
So if the love Lennon and McCartney mean when they say “all you need is love,” is the kind of love that is a constant action requiring self-sacrifice, open-mindedness, and hard work in order to promote kindness, tolerance, and understanding, then they just might be right.
Come and see the show
Whilst you can stay up-to-date with our performance schedule here, we will be performing our new show, “All You Need is Love” at the following venues:
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