In 1967, John Lennon wrote the song «All you need is love.» He also beat both his wives, left one of his children, continuously insulted his gay Jewish manager with both homophobic and antiemetic language and once upon a time spend an entire day laid completely naked on the floor.
Thirty-five years later, Trent Reznor from the band Nine Inch Nails wrote the song «Love is not enough.» Reznor, despite his famous for shocking performances on the stage and grotesque anxious clips, got rid of drug and alcohol addiction, married one woman, had two children with her, and then canceled the subsequent studio and tour activities to stay at home and become a good husband and father.
One of these men has a pure and realistic understanding of love. The other does not. One of them idealizes love, seeing in it the solution of all problems. Other one doesn’t. One of them, probably, was a narcissistic jerk. The second was not.
In our culture, many people idealize love. We see in it as sublime panacea for all life’s problems. Our films and stories in books make it out to be the ultimate goal of life, the final deliverance from the whole painful struggle. And because we idealize love, we overestimate it. As a result, we have to pay for this relationship.
When we believe that «all we need is love,» like Lennon, we tend to ignore the fundamental values: respect, humility and commitment to the people we care about. In the end, if love decides everything, why should I bother myself with other things — complicated things? The fundamentals on which love is actually based.
But if, like Reznor, we believe that «love is not enough,» we understand that healthy relationships require more than pure emotions or high passions. We understand that there are things more important in our life and in our relationships than just being in love. And the success of our relations depends on deeper and more important values.
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