Lesson 50: Love deeply and freely.

Published 3:47 pm Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The greatest weakness of most humans is their hesitancy to tell others how much they love them while theyre alive.

O. A. Batista

Love somebody. Love not just one somebody, but many. Dont be afraid to give your love away, because it always comes back to you.

There are many kinds of love, of course: romantic love, parental love, family love, love for friends. In fact, friendship in itself is a form of love. A healthy life requires love. But for some reason, too many people dont fully allow themselves to love.

True, you take a chance when you love another person. You run the risk of caring more for them than they do for you I guess that may be one reason why so many people tend to ration their love. But if you think about it, the risk is minor compared to the reward. A caring relationship provides joy, security, and strength to both parties.

Im not suggesting that you have lots of romantic lovers, of course. One at a time is plenty and one for a lifetime is best in this category. In the family department, youre limited by the size of your family. But beyond that, theres no limit on the number of caring relationships one person may have. Each relationship opens the way for others.

Its not enough just to love; you must express your love. Love thats felt but not expressed is like a bouquet of roses left in a closet the point is to share it. The ways you express your love depend on the nature of the relationship and can be verbal or non-verbal.

Verbal expressions: When was the last time I told you how great I think you are? I really enjoy talking with you. Youre all right; I dont care what your mother says. You make my day. Im so glad were friends. Our relationship means a lot to me. I love you.

Nonverbal expressions: A hug. A kiss on the cheek. A warm handshake. A pat on the back. A playful push. A smile. Walking arm in arm.

When you express your love, you are communicating a simple message from one human being to another, a message that enriches both the giver and the receiver. Its been said that if we all had only five minutes left to live, the worlds phone lines would be jammed with people trying to tell others they love them. Dont wait until its too late; do it today, and every day.

Excerpted from The Graduates Book of Practical Wisdom: 99 Lessons They Cant Teach in School by C. Andrew Millard, published by Morgan James Publishing, available in bookstores and online. &opy; 2008 by C. Andrew Millard; all rights reserved. For more information visit www.wisegraduate.com.~ Advice for the Young written by Andy Millard