You are probably wondering why on earth I chose seven people out of a bus station to answer a few questions about this four letter word that seems to have endless definitions. If you have ever been in a bus station or ever traveled long distance on a bus you become an expert at people watching. You watch as people show great amounts of love to complete strangers on the bus, in the bus station and to each other. There is a few that can be hostile and cuss like a sailor when things don't go their way but, for the most part, traveling by bus is really a bunch of strangers loving strangers subconsciously.
I was inspired to get an inside look at how these specific seven people described, defined and viewed this word when I watched an elder woman help the other elders get their luggage down at every stop. I watched a young man, a college student, help a single mom of two screaming kids put one to sleep so she didn't feel alone and defeated. I watched as multiple people held doors, flashed smiles, laughed, joked, and loved each other despite the fact they didn't even know each other's names. Watching this made me re-evaluate what love is. I couldn't help but wonder what these people, who displayed much love for strangers without even knowing, thought the word "love" meant.
1. Patricia Rodgers (43) - Collinsville, IL
"Ain't nothing like it. You can't put nothing else on it. Without love there is nothing. You can have everything in the world but without it, you'll be empty. I don't think people use it enough. Some people don't know how to show it because they've never received it. And of course, a little bit goes a long way."
2. Anonymous Male (23) - Cleveland, MS
"A blessing to give and receive. People abuse it by pretending to love you and then turning against you. People should use it as often as they can and in every opportunity they are given. Opening a door, flashing a smile, etc."
3. Troy Geor (21) - Flagstaff, AZ
"The most powerful thing to give and receive. It can make you or break you. The feeling we all long for from other people and really ourselves! NO one should abuse the word itself. When you find it you hold onto it as hard as you can."
4. Jackie Kitzman (26) - Amarillo, TX
"Something that should never be earned but freely given. 'Specially those who are hard to give it too and those who look as if they haven't received enough. A stranger, a neighbor, everyone deserves it. People abuse it by taking advantage of the word itself to get people to react how they want. They use the word like it is spit. Which is not always a bad thing until they start using it without the right intentions."
5. Kavon Smith (18) - Atlanta, GA
"Family. No one will ever define this word better than your family. The catch is your family does not always have to be by blood. But with family love is unconditional. You can never overuse this word. The problem with today is people use it and don't mean it"
6. Katrina Long (17) - Albuquerque New Mexico
"The heaviest word in the English language. Hard to hear sometimes and also hard to live without. Hard to say when you don't mean it but the easiest thing to fake when it should be the one real thing in life."
7. Cathy Carter (67) - Oklahoma City, OK
"The foundation of all things. Relationships, friendships, and If I am being honest the reason we all are here today. Someone loved us all just enough to give his life for us. Can't build something or anything without love. Can't cook without it, can't celebrate anything without it, and most importantly can't give it without feeling it first. It's lost when someone forgets its true meaning."
* * *
There it is. Isn't that crazy that all these people have different definitions and views on this word. Some define it as "family" other define it as "Religion" and others define it as "unconditional." All these meanings and definitions I believer are 100% correct in their own way. It is a word that is hard to define but an action that is so easy to do. If you're wondering how I define this word myself, my definition is below.
Celina Leggiere (19) - Tuscaloosa, AL
Love: (Verb, Noun & everything in between)
Definition: An unconditional commitment to selflessly serve, truthfully communicate, fearlessly protect, gracefully forgive, compassionately heal and enduringly remain in relationship with and for the sake of another. Love is giving someone the last piece of cake no matter how bout you want it. Love is smiling at a stranger when you yourself are having the worst day of your life. Love is sending a text message to someone who is on your heart or even giving your heart to someone. Love is the butterflies you feel in your stomach when that special someone walks into a room.
But most importantly love is everything you want for yourself and also everything you want to give to someone one day because 2,000 years ago someone loved you so much they gave their life for you on a cross and that is true love.
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