“To Love is to will the good of another” – St. Thomas Aquinas
Doesn’t this flip how Western society seems to view love?
The fact we need a St. Valentine’s Day to remind us the importance of giving to the Other in a relationship is telling.
Western individualistic culture tells us that we should only look out for “number one”. Yes, self-care is important and we need to be “okay” first and foremost. But we can worship ourselves – doing everything for our own benefit and trying to get one-up over everyone else. When every thing and every person becomes a commodity, we find ourselves asking the question: “how does this bring value to me?”
But True Love cannot be bought nor sold on Valentine’s Day. I don’t say this trying to be clever, but because I think Aquinas is right in saying we need to give and receive for the Other – not for the benefit of ourselves. Is that the hardest thing to do in love, to will the good of another?
That might mean letting someone go, ending a relationship, hoping an old loved one finds happiness with someone else.
Are we willing to do that in love?