Anyone who is a hopeless romantic knows about the Love Locks Bridge in Paris, locally known as the Pont des Arts. It is a place for those to declare their true love to one another, whether it's a best friend or intimate partner. You and your partner together clasp the lock onto the bridge's chain fence, then toss the key into the body of water below forever having a tangible symbol of your ever lasting unity. Sadly, this bridge has broken, breaking our hearts with it.
Surprisingly, Paris is not going to repair the bridge the way hopeless romantics had thought they would, but instead they are going to begin removing the love locks that caused the bridge to break. Close to a million locks are being cut; one can only picture the heart strings of those who put it there snapping along with it. But is this how Paris, love capital of the world, sees it?
No. The citizens of Paris have come together declaring these love locks vandalism! Paris has hung signs, in English specifically, saying that the bridge will no longer have the locks or the panels that international artists have drawn on, but instead, be taking all of it down and replacing the sides of the bridge with glass panels. The city has a group called 'No Love Locks' that has been fighting for this moment for quite some time, their slogan saying "Free your love. Save our bridges." At last the city is cheering in victory, saying sorry (not sorry) to the tourists who have, in their eyes, destroyed their bridge.
Now many of us may be thinking, how could Paris do to this to us hopeless romantics? How could they take away this opportunity for the rest of us who have yet to proclaim our love to someone under the lights of the city of love? Well, how about this plot twist, how could we do this to them?
How could all of us have become so infatuated with the idea that we needed something tangible in order to really feel like our love was true? How come we couldn't wait a few decades to know our love was true, then go put a lock on the bridge if it's still what we thought we needed to do? How many of us did it just for fun?
Proudly standing since 1804, you can see the it is no longer a bridge that it is filled with love, but actually a bridge that is being weighed down by people who are lost in the idea. In a side by side picture, one can see that just from 2008 to 2014 the bridge went from just a few locks, to covered in thousands, close to a million. Now, it's not to say that all these locks were put there under the false impressions of true love, hopefully majority of these are between people who will be intertwined for the rest of their lives.
It seems as if we have forgotten what love really is. If you love the beauty of a flower you don't pick it, but instead let it grow and let it be seen so it can spread its beauty to others. That's the message we missed with this bridge. We forgot to let its beauty be spread to others. We got selfish and picked it. Take a look at the slogan for the 'No Love Locks' campaign, they are telling you to set our sense of love free. Love is not something that needs to be locked; how we came to that conclusion requires us to take a deeper look at ourselves and the ideas we have about true love. Let the changing of the bridge be a lesson and use it to look at the way Americans have treated love.