Monday, November 17, 2008

The Best Things In Life Are Free...Like Love

It’s A Wonderful Life…

This is a 1946 classic starring James Stewart and Donna Reed in the roles of George Bailey and his wife Mary, around the both of whom the story revolves. It is one of the most endearing films I have seen to date…it warms you up to the core.

What I want to talk about today is what the character of Mary in the film embodies.

Mary likes the protagonist George since childhood and once whispers in his defective left ear “George Bailey, I will love you to the day I die”…a promise she keeps upon growing up to be a beautiful young lady. She loves George despite his part handicap. She stands by him in the darkest of times and maintains the most cheerful demeanour. She makes a home out of a run-down house and raises a family lovingly there. Mary is the epitome of the now-forgotten idea called Unconditional Love.

Most people do not believe in this idea now. Today there is a motive and agenda behind every action. Things done without reason and gain are considered a waste of precious time.

So when someone loves you unconditionally, wants to see you happy and smiling, wants to see you comfortable, prays that you find joy in life, watches out for you on sleepless nights, you question it with a “Why?” You do not see a reason. Sometimes there are no reasons. Sometimes the reason is as simple as love. At the cost of inconveniencing oneself, sometimes the reason is just love.

Unconditional love is never understood. It is not appreciated. A mother’s love…most people undervalue and underestimate it. It is only when it is gone that it is missed. We need to lose something to value it better.

Love needs to be expensive…

Love needs to come with a price tag. It needs to be the trophy acquired after winning a contest, upon working hard to earn it, upon living up to the standards set for it. Somewhere I think such a conceptualization of love helps you maintain your sense of self-worth and self-esteem. As if you were worth something just because you had love that was so difficult to achieve.

If you don’t love yourself it becomes even more difficult to receive love…more so unconditional love. Standing examples are the characters of Dev or Maya from the movie Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna. Their entire problem in life was that they were unhappy with their own selves. And they kept finding faults with the ones who loved them the most and excuses to believe that no one loved them.

Unconditional love makes it more difficult because such people tend to look at it as a favour and not as a gift. They can almost become angry that someone loves them so much for no reason. They are convinced that they do not deserve it.

Love is not a trophy…

Love is a gift from above. It is blessing. It goes to the special and chosen ones. It is to be received with closed eyes and open arms.

But when you receive unconditional love you shun it…you find reasons to drive unconditional love away…it was too easy…it was too available…it was free…

Like most other things that are free, you think it must not be the best in quality. You think it must have just been lying around and needed to be discarded. You refuse to accept it because it does nothing to your status and ego. So you throw away the rarest gift life can bring your way.

Everyone wants a Mary but Mary’s George today will drive her away even if she said “I’ll love you to the day I die” in his right ear out loud. Unconditional love has no value.

And the ones who stand like tall Sunflowers offering this glimmer have no option but to wilt slowly as the ones they love block the sunshine with their bare hands.

If it is free, it is probably there for all to have and receive and there is nothing special about it.

Sadly it does not work that way for love…the best love is not expensive...the best love is free.

3 Thinkers Pondered:

Utsarg said...

Nice post Anupama. Something which is so easily and readily available in unlimited volumes often gets ignored. One hardly realizes the value till the moment its gone. And the beauty is that the giver of this unconditional love also expects nothing out of it. Whether the receiver values it or not, whether it is expensive or cheap is of no consequence to the giver... This I think is the beauty of "LOVE" itself. As the MasterCard commercial goes, its neither cheap, nor expensive – its priceless!

Vinni said...

at times we just take some people from granted for all the things they have done for you and the good things you have spent with them. i have also been a culprit at times, i have been taken from granted at times. works both ways, still we dont learn better ways!

Poornima said...

The other side of the coin: I guess its more than an inconvenience for the one who offers unconditional love; its a challenge to their self-respect. after all its a thin line between offering your love unconditionally and becoming a doormat.

where there is no value for one's love, he / she starts thinking 'does this person deserve it?'. when the heart wars with the head, when you have to choose between self-preservation and unconditional love, it seems to be a lose-lose situation, isn't it? you give, up you feel selfish; you don't, you feel victimized / taken for granted...

ever heard the story of the guy who caught hold of a tiger's tail? can't hold on to it, can't let it go...