Sunday, February 06, 2005

Is there such a thing as too much love?

I am sure many of us are familiar with the Japanese culture where, individuals during a greeting or when saying farewell, have a kind of bowing competition where those involved try to out-do and “out-bow” one another in their quest to be polite. Yes, it may be simplistic but it helps to illustrate my point that there may be such a thing as too much of a good thing and by extension, such a thing as “too much” love.

If the above example is quirky and has not quite hit the point, how about the parent who “loves” the child so much so that the kid is spoilt rotten and protected from the trials and tribulations of “real life” so that the kid will supposedly lead a “good” life. Is it love when the result is that the child is then ill-equipped to handle the real world once his (or her) parents pass on and he has to fend for himself? That’s actually cruel.

How about when the parents “loves” the child so much that they dictate what profession they should move into “for their own good” when the child has inclinations in other areas that the parents may not know much about. Worse still if the inclination is towards in an area that is not considered “commercially viable”. The child then goes into a profession dictated by his parents but always feeling a little out of place. When the child matures to the point that he realizes that he may have chosen a profession not quite in line with his “aptitude” the kid is too far gone and it would require a drastic effort to change horses in mid-stream. Is that love? Again, I think it is cruel.

How about when a parent and child care so much for one another that they try to cater to each other’s needs and try to second guess their every move so that they each try to save one another from potential worry. What’s wrong with that you ask? Well, what if both parties detest being fussed over but they both fuss over one another because of this “love”? The result? They drift apart because they can’t stand the fuss! The irony of it all!

I am aware that my argument above focuses on the parental kind of love and the kid has not got the gumption to stand up for himself… but that is not my point. My questions remains, is there such a thing as too much love? I am not sure, but what I am sure about is that what the parents feel for the child in the above examples is not love. (If that is what it is, I want nothing to do with it.) To me love is certainly not selfish and if these parents were to engage in some introspection, they would realise that their approach to child rearing is utterly selfish and is designed to free them from worry rather than in the best interests of their children.

Having children is supposed to be as a result of an act of love… but that is another rant for another day.


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