Sam Keen’s view on Love

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In the daily routines of man, love tends to be the strongest feeling. Many a times, the appreciation that comes with love rekindles the happiness of life. In the book, To Love and be Loved, Sam Keen explores the aspect of love and affection that man portrays to others (Keen, 1999). According to the author, the central meaning of human life is demonstrated through love for self and to others. Certainly, man’s narrow focus on love distorts the very meaning of love such that it remains idealized rather than practiced.

Keen’s view on the inadequacy of man’s practice of love is true. Often, man remains glued and appreciates movies together with other literary works that address love. The fantasy is envisaged by these films and books, especially, when a man falls in love with a lady and breakup. In the fairytale, love later conquers and bonds the two. The passion and love addressed by these literary works creates a cyclic habit and thereby, make man to yarn for these films. Apparently, the fantasy envisaged by the love movies and literary works supersedes the reality of love practices. Conversely, the ideas addressed by such films only whets man’s appetite to obtain love rather than embracing the same in practice.

A misconception that associates love with finding a spouse ruins the very meaning of love. This preempts on the aspects that humans have limited knowledge on the concept of love except for the natural instinct that draws attention to marriage. Ideally, the beauty in love allows one to develop happiness and, thus, its full meaning is integral (Keen, 1999). Therefore, practicing love aside from marriage improves the aspect of love in human.

According to Keen, a biased attention has been paid to the description of intelligence in relation to love. Notably, a parameter of assessment known as the Intelligence Quotient (IQ) has been developed to quantify the level of intellect of a person. I agree with Keen’s emphasis on the development of Love Quotient (LQ) that mimics the IQ in order to instill the requisite knowledge on the idea of love. As postulated by Keen, the LQ implies a generic aptitude, which generates empathy as well as compassion but occasionally can be enhanced or diminished depending on the circumstances. Based on this premise, human should embrace the understanding of love by practicing it. Thus, this only commences by appreciating and loving oneself before extending the same to others. The key to this is acceptance. Man needs to appreciate and accept themselves as well as others as an aspect of embracing love (McLaren, 2016). In a nutshell, the recognition that no one is perfect and that every person has distinctive flaws or desirable qualities tends to be an important aspect of showing love. In accepting and understand the qualities of persons, everybody will be accorded love irrespective of the distinct individual attributes.

Keen posits that love is developed through consistent practice throughout the lifetime of an individual. Besides, Keen argues that no school or curriculum have been designed to teach love, making man illiterate in expressing love. Keen’s view is consistent with the concept that love comes from within an individual (Keen, 1999). As such, it cannot be forced on an individual or even taught, hence affirming the main reasons for the lack of curriculum for it. Conversely, I disagree with Keen on the absence of formal education platform to teach love (McLaren, 2016). It is vital to develop the innate love by first inculcating the idea of the subject matter through a formal education. Just like in other disciplines, the teaching of love will provide knowledge that guides practice. Therefore, the education platform needs to embrace the teaching of love.

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  1. McLaren, H. (2016). Falling in love with romantic ideals: women in relationships with child molesters. Culture, health & sexuality, 18(2), 143-155.
  2. Keen, S. (1999). To love and be loved. New York: Bantam Books.
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