Wednesday, January 4, 2012

P4E.224 Love = Self Sacrifice, Part 1

I'm going to presume to write about love as self-sacrifice. This is not a very popular subject. Not an easy sell. Right off the bat, if we approach this subject acknowledging that there is no perfect example of self-sacrificial love (except the obvious), that it is an ideal, a goal to shoot for, and that we will all fall short of the goal, then maybe we can talk about it. I am the least worthy to converse about self-sacrifice, because I have so little experience, but I feel compelled to write.

It seems ironic that I've always been a fan of Ayn Rand's books, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. She, who vaunted selfishness and atheism. Somehow, I was able to compartmentalize the rugged individualism that seemed to capture the American ideal away from the rest. But, one thing always stood out to me as unreal in Ayn Rand's books: her love interests. The story lines having to do with the amours of her leading characters always rang hollow. They rang hollow because she could never allow her characters to exhibit self-sacrificial love. It would contradict her ideal of selfishness. Rand had to go through such contortions to somehow portray her character's interest in each other without letting them sacrifice anything at all in each other's interest. I suppose in the end Rand had to allow her characters be satisfied with the sex.

Here's my premise: We often learn valuable lessons about a thing by understanding its opposite. Many people, when asked 'What is the opposite of love?' will respond, 'The opposite of love is hate.' I offer an alternate answer that the opposite of love is selfishness. One might also argue that the opposite of love is fear. But I believe, where love is concerned, that fear in one person is precipitated by selfishness in the other person. So, in the end I maintain my premise, that the opposite of love is selfishness. If the premise is true, then the equation Love = Self Sacrifice can define the first of the Galatians 5 fruit of the Spirit.

More to follow...

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