I have always known that love brings purpose into our lives.
And love is never exclusive.
Love can happen between two adults, between a parent and child, between a human and pet and it even happens between two teenagers.
All are forms of human experience of love and not one is more important than the next. The experience brings the richness and texture to our lives and connect us to one another.
Love transcends age, time and space. And to experience of love, nothing brings greater meaning to the human experience But what advice can an adult give when a teenager falls in love? I hope the advice I give to my own son is as thoughtful and respectful as the advice John Steinbeck gave to his teen son. Here is excerpt from a letter he sent to his son in boarding school in 1958, advice that stands the test of time.
“First — if you are in love — that’s a good thing — that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.
Second — There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you — of kindness and consideration and respect — not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.
You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply — of course it isn’t puppy love.
But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it — and that I can tell you.
Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.
The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.”
See the entire letter published in the Atlantic here.
Happy Valentines Day! And as always, sending much love to you our readers.