Love as a skill

I was in a home improvement superstore yesterday when I was struck by the lyrics to a song I’ve heard dozens of times, but had never considered before.

The song playing over the PA system was “Hold My Hand” by Hootie & the Blowfish. And the lyric goes:

I wanna love you, the best that, the best that I can.

And it struck me that I’ve been thinking of love not as a skill that one has to develop, but as a phenomenon that simply occurs when conditions are right.

But there was Hootie, pouring his heart out as we shopped for lighting fixtures, announcing his intention to love her the best that he can. He told us that he’s going to try. He doesn’t see love as something he’s going to hope for — he sees it as something he’ll be an agent in creating and sustaining.

And of course love is a skill. Of course it takes effort. Of course it’s important enough to practice intentionally.

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