Tim Harford writes The Problem With Factswhich uses Brexit and Trump as jumping-off points to argue that people are mostly impervious to facts and resistant to logic: Facts, it seems, are toothless. Trying to refute a bold, memorable lie with a fiddly set of facts can often serve to reinforce the myth.
No wonder so many people are single. A few years ago, I spoke to a group of high-schoolers about the Jewish idea of love. I'll define it, and you raise your hands if you agree.
Love is that feeling you get when you meet the right person. And I thought, Oy. This is how many people approach a relationship. Consciously or unconsciously, they believe love is a sensation based on physical and emotional attraction that magically, spontaneously generates when Mr.
And just as easily, it can spontaneously degenerate when the magic "just isn't there" anymore. You fall in love, and you can fall out of it. The key word is passivity.
Erich Fromm, in his famous treatise "The Art of Loving," noted the sad consequence of this misconception: Love is the attachment that results from deeply appreciating another's goodness. Love is the result of appreciating another's goodness. The word "goodness" may surprise you.
After all, most love stories don't feature a couple enraptured with each other's ethics. But in her study of real-life successful marriages The Good Marriage: How and Looks are deceiving essay writer Love LastsJudith Wallerstein reports that "the value these couples placed on the partner's moral qualities was an unexpected finding.
What we value most in ourselves, we value most in others. God created us to see ourselves as good hence our need to either rationalize or regret our wrongdoings. So, too, we seek goodness in others.
Nice looks, an engaging personality, intelligence, and talent all of which count for something may attract you, but goodness is what moves you to love.
You can create it. Just focus on the good in another person and everyone has some. If you can do this easily, you'll love easily. I was once at an intimate concert in which the performer, a deeply spiritual person, gazed warmly at his audience and said, "I want you to know, I love you all.
This man naturally saw the good in others, and our being there said enough about us that he could love us. Judaism actually idealizes this universal, unconditional love. Obviously, there's a huge distance from here to the far more profound, personal love developed over the years, especially in marriage.
But seeing goodness is the beginning. By focusing on the good, you can love almost anyone. Susan learned about this foundation of love after becoming engaged to David. When she called her parents to tell them the good news, they were elated.
At the end of the conversation, her mother said, "Darling, I want you to know we love you, and we love David. Actions Affect Feelings Now that you're feeling so warmly toward the entire human race, how can you deepen your love for someone?
The way God created us, actions affect our feelings most. For example, if you want to become more compassionate, thinking compassionate thoughts may be a start, but giving tzedaka charity will get you there.
While most people believe love leads to giving, the truth as Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler writes in his famous discourse on loving kindness is exactly the opposite: Giving leads to love. Neither is a father's forcing violin lessons on his son because he himself always dreamed of being a virtuoso.
True giving, as Erich Fromm points out, is other-oriented, and requires four elements. The first is care, demonstrating active concern for the recipient's life and growth. The second is responsibility, responding to his or her expressed and unexpressed needs particularly, in an adult relationship, emotional needs.
The third is respect, "the ability to see a person as he [or she] is, to be aware of his [or her] unique individuality," and, consequently, wanting that person to "grow and unfold as he [or she] is.What is love?
What is not love? Many believe love is a sensation that magically generates when Mr. or Ms. Right appears. No wonder so many people are single. Paul Kingsnorth is a writer and poet living in Cumbria, England.
He is the author of several books, including the poetry collection Kidland and his fictional debut The Wake, winner of the Gordon Burn Prize and the Bookseller Book of the Year Award. Kingsnorth is the cofounder and director of the Dark Mountain Project, a network of writers, artists, and thinkers.
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