Yesterday, an ex-boyfriend of a friend posted a question on his Facebook status which said, “Do you believe every human has the right to be loved?”
To me, it’s interesting because it’s one of those questions to which most people would give an automatic affirmative answer without even the glimmer of a second thought.
I’m not most people.
So I asked him, “And to be loved means?”
And he answered, “To get/receive love.”
I was hoping for a more elaborate answer but, eh, I’d run with what I can get.
And I asked him again, “And what is love?”
And he answered, “Bigger than like, more beautiful than care, and more passionate than lust.”
Awww… How sweet. And ultimately meaningless. From experience, a poetic definition to an abstract subject is just an easy way out. And I know because I’ve done it countless times. It’s an attempt to end discussions in a flurry and tangle of words, the linguistic equivalent of octopus ink.
Yea, like that’s going to work.
So I asked him again, “Would you love Hitler?”
And he answered, “Yup, he’s still HUMAN.”
Interesting. I asked him again, “So everyone deserves to be loved simply by being human, disregarding character and action?”
And he answered, “Yep, even Hitler deserves to be loved. I’m not saying that I’m the one who will love him but he deserves it. Just like you, me, us, human.”
Now, that stopped me in my tracks.
The thought that to be loved is a right implies that it’s someone else’s obligation to give that love. For me, and maybe also for you, if someone does something simply out of obligation, it tends to decrease the profundity of the gesture. I’d much rather someone loves me because he wants to, not because he has to. Furthermore, I’m not someone who can say “if you love me, take me as I am”, because “as I am” is a loaded statement. When I love someone, I try to be the better person that he believes I can be as a token of gratitude for his loving me. Of course, I’d expect the same thing from him. Because for me, to be loved is not a right. It’s a two-way street which takes two to navigate, that involves a give-and-take unless you plan to crash and burn.
I think as a human being I have a right to be free and to love. But loved? Like Benjie Franklin once said, “If you want to be loved, love and be lovable.” So no, for me it’s something I strive for, not deserve.