I visited the soapbox known as Facebook the other day, and the sermon du jour stuck out like a sore thumb. It was one of those preachy posters with a schmaltzy saying that supposedly sounds wise. I would say I detest those motivational posters—the graffiti of the internet—except that some of the best humor is created by mocking them. In any case, the poster said this:
"Love is not about sex, going on fancy dates, or showing off. It’s about being with a person who makes you happy in a way nobody else can."
“Ohhhh,” I thought aloud, my voice dripping with delicious sarcasm, “that’s why so many of our relationships are failing.” And then I realized that, in fact, yes, in some small way this is why so many relationships die. On some level I think we actually believe this Facebook wisdom. It’s a lie of course, and disfigures love in the way all good lies do—by sounding good on the surface. It’s basically antifreeze all dressed up in a fancy medicinal looking bottle; it tastes sweet going down and then blinds you. Actually, it’s sort of like those infamous informercials on tv that claim to <ahem> enhance a certain part of the male anatomy: it preys upon our insecurities and proffers a cure that doesn’t work. But I digress. The point is that many of us read those sort of things everyday, and even if we totally disregard them, they not only don’t register as lies, but they are chipping away at our idea of love. And it is a lie, isn’t it? Or do you not see it? I’m betting that many of us don’t.
Well, it is a lie, and here is why: it’s all about you. I’m sorry to say it lads and lasses, but real love, the kind that lasts over the long haul and has the power to transform us, not just temporarily blind us to reality, is not founded upon selfishness. Read it again if you don’t believe me. That’s right, this oh so wise Facebook axiom is touting a form of selfishness and calling it love. And guess what selfishness does to a marriage? But again I digress.
ps. Is it ironic that I called facebook a soapbox when this article and pretty much everything I post online is overtly preachy? Nah, I’m way better at it, and you know, success always assuages guilt, right? … hmm, I might have to preach about that one next time.
In the mean time go and read a “blunt card” or a “de-motivational poster” for me.
M. C. Lang