The Value of Love

The woman who shares my grandma's room at the nursing home is in a coma and has been for quite a long time. Everyday when I visit my grandma, I see the woman's husband there reading bible passages to her. One day I even saw the husband asleep in a chair while holding his wife's hand. Seeing this manifestation of love and dedication touched my heart and it made me realize that I am simultaneously sorry for and envious of the husband. On the one hand, I feel so bad for the man because it must be horrible to have your loved one in a such a condition, but on the other hand, I am extremely envious of the love that he has experienced in his life.

Someone once asked Noam Chomsky what love was and he responded by saying that he had no idea, but that life was empty without it. I have personally never fallen in love so I do not know if that is true or not, but I suspect that he is correct and that love is a crucial component of what it means to be human. This is not to say that it will only bring happiness—in fact, it often brings pain and suffering, as witnessed by the husband mentioned above—but it does mean that one will have a richer life. In light of this, I have realized that I highly desire to fall in love.

This has not always been the case, however. Indeed, just a few years ago love did not occupy any of my thoughts. Of course I thought about women, but it was not the same as how I think about them now. In the past, I never truly considered devoting myself to someone for the rest of my life. I never appreciated the idea of having a partner who would always stay by your side. And now, since my stance on love has developed, relationships based on anything less than true love seem to be quite pathetic.

I once watched a news special about a website that aimed to set up rich men with pretty women. (It was practically prostitution but was not illegal because it could not be proven that sexual services were traded for money.) In this special, they interviewed a number of people who used the site including a rich man who owned some production company in Hollywood. To be honest, the man seemed to be quite happy with his life. He had the money and he had the beautiful women. Moreover, he seemed to be perfectly accepting that his relationships were contingent on the fact that he was wealthy.

The question I asked myself after watching this report was this: “Would anyone who has experienced true love ever deem relationships based on money to be as meaningful?” My suspicion is no. I suspect that if that rich man actually fell in love, he would realize that all his previous relationships were "less than." But who knows? Perhaps there are people out there would find monetary relationships to be more fulfilling. I cannot say for certain. However, I am quite convinced that in the end, I personally would rather be the husband reading bible passages to my sick wife than the millionaire with his beautiful women.