On Love

This evening I went to have dinner with my parents, as I have done on most Friday nights for the past three decades.  My mom is probably one of the greatest Yemenite cooks and having Shabbat dinner with her and my father is always a treat. Usually Leor, David, my brother and his son, Eric, join us.  Tonight only Eric and I were there with them.  After my father blessed the wine and the bread, my mom and Eric served the food.  It was then that I remembered my conversation with Jeff from earlier this morning about asking my parents for permission to include a personal story from our family life.

Jeff and I had been discussing the intro section to the book and what we wanted to include in it.  He had already written about the evolution of parenting, and we began discussing the evolution of love.

I shared with him that both my maternal and paternal grandparents, each, lost 4 children to illness. Loving their other children meant keeping them healthy and alive.  My parents also lost their first born to illness when he was three years old.  That generation of parents did not have the luxury to think about their children’s emotional or psychological needs.  Every part of their being was focused on providing their children with basic food, shelter and health.

After WWII, the Western world was freed to develop and achieve great breakthroughs in medical, industrial, technological, and educational fields.  By the 1960′s, most of the industrial countries were able to extend their citizens life span as well as ensure their  comfort and prosperity.  The need for emotional and psychological love emerged for the first time in the children of this generation. No wonder we did not feel emotionally fulfilled; our parents had no clue this need existed or how to meet it.011.It is so hard being human. Can we please be kind with  ourselves and each other.

Without good role models, our generation is still floundering on this issue.  LOVE is still an elusive concept and an even more elusive experience, both on the receiving and giving sides.

What is your idea of love?  This is not a rhetorical question.  See if you can answer it.

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