306. Essay: Love’s Singularity
Love has a singularity as its object that is not seen in other qualities. Unlike most other qualities, love is focused on one, not on many.
A diluted focus is seen in negative qualities such as selfishness and pride. The selfish “mine” feeling is against everyone else. Pride also is against the masses. It is the belief that you are better or greater than most others rather than just one other.
A diluted focus is seen on the positive side as well. Think of peace. It is not singular in its expression, but corporate. You may desire internal peace, but world peace seems a more noble idea. When we opine, “He is the most humble man I have ever met,” we are comparing the one against the many. Humility seems best recognized when compared against the backdrop of groups, not primarily in comparing two people. And trust is a quality an individual might have, but it is toward most things, not one thing. We trust gas stations to have the kind of fuel our vehicles need. We trust grocery stores to have the staples of diet. Though we may prefer one station or store over another, that does not affect the basic element of trust.
It’s undeniably different. To say, “I love all cats or all cucumbers,” is misguided; no one has experience with every living cat or harvested vegetable. Saying love is aimed at a singular object or person seems pointless to even state. We intuitively understand the singular focus of love. Of course you love that person. How else could you love? Could you love all people? No, because love requires a deeper commitment, a more thorough understanding, and a greater connection to one than all others. That is love’s meaning.
Love carries a singularity within it. Just think: If your beloved were to pass from this life, would it suffice to replace them or to love all people now? Tell the parents who have lost a child that they can just have another. Will that work? Tell a seventeen-year-old whose father was killed by a drunk driver that there will be no difference during his high school graduation because his uncle will be there.
Replacements make love beggarly.
The singularity of love is so natural to us, I feel I have too much belabored the point.