Love — Love Will Keep You Together


"Hey, hello in there. What's so important? What [do] you got here that's worth living for?" the character Miracle Max asks Westley in 1987 film "The Princess Bride." Westley lies "mostly dead," as opposed to all dead, on his table. He grumbles in response, "True love."

Is there a more noble cause?

Love is one of the most universally discussed topics. Love is wanting to please another person without being asked. Love is the little reminders you use to express how you feel. Mutual love with a significant other can make you the happiest person in the world.

Love starts in the cradle and gets learned in the home, which is why I turned to my family and close friends for some wisdom on relationships.

"Love can give you the will to live and the strength to go on. It's magical," said my mother. "There is nothing better than falling in love and continuing to be with that person."

My grandparents (the wisest people I know) recognize love as the most important thing in the world. "You gotta have love, and you gotta have 'That Old Feeling' when you get to be old folks like us," said my 88-year-old Zaidy. "We realize how important love is, and even though we've had some real battles, we still look at each other like we did when we were 20."

"Love is not all positive in a healthy relationship," said my father. "Love is being able to tell someone when you don't agree with them."

My best friend talks about falling in love for the first time.

"You think love is going to be like everything else — and you have plenty of exposure to it through family, movies, books — but it never really makes sense until you really fall in love and lose total control to a real physical feeling," he revealed.

There are many different kinds of love. There can be love for a spouse, boyfriend, child, parent, sister, friend or pet. There is love for a sport, hobby or career. When you say you love your job or a good book, it obviously doesn't mean the same as when you say you love your significant other or your children.

But even if love can keep you alive when there's no hope, is it enough?

"The love of your life will carry you through any circumstance," my mom read me from her and my stepdad's favorite fortune cookie.

My mom believes the quote from the cookie can be true only if you allow it to be.

"Love is not the only ingredient you need in a strong relationship," she continued. "It has to mixed in with trust, respect, patience, support, admiration, laughter and time together. Love should be the foundation; without it, everything crumbles."

My dad agreed that having more than love in a relationship is essential.

"The most important thing in life is health and happiness, and love helps contribute towards happiness," he stated. "I don't think you can be totally happy without love. I also don't think you can have a successful marriage or long-term relationship without love, but love alone will not make you happy."

Cultural Exchanges
Yet just because love is one of the most talked-about topics doesn't mean it's equally important for all cultures.

For example, in the 2006 documentary "Love Iranian-American Style," filmmaker Tanaz Eshaghian portrays her Iranian Jewish family's obsession with her getting married to someone who fulfills their laundry list — since "marriage is a deal after all," her uncle stated.

According to the film, the average Iranian Jewish list includes a high-class, wealthy family, and a good-looking, well-behaved bachelor who has or will have a prestigious career.

Eshaghian, who has experienced American culture since attending Brown University, felt confused and guilty because she sought more than the checklist her family prescribed for her.

Instead, love is something women of her background hope they get — eventually.

While making the film, Eshaghian learned that her mother and father liked each other, but were never in love. Her mother said that their culture teaches that once you choose a suitor, the feelings that develop afterward remain the ingredients for that marriage.

Her cousin added that most Iranian Jewish couples work on love after marriage, and that it is likely a percentage of them will succeed. Many are content with just liking each other.

Eshaghian said that: "If I do meet a man, he's going to have to accept the fact that there are two cultures at war."

If love is the most noble of feelings, then do we really need a day to commemorate how we feel? We could live without the one day, but we certainly should not live without love. With busy schedules and limited time to spend with family, friends and significant others, maybe it's important to take the time to think about and express this necessary feeling. Sometimes, we all need a little reminder that "love is everywhere."

"True love is the greatest thing in the world," Miracle Max replied back to the hero Westley. "Except for a nice MLT — mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich, where the mutton is nice and lean, and the tomato is ripe."  


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