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I once met someone who was traveling the world. He carried around with him a book wherever he went. On the book cover was a big heart with the words, “Love”. When I asked him, “What’s in the book and why do you carry it around wherever you go?” He answered, “It is the Book of Love.” Literally. In every page, with dozens of pages already filled out and hundreds of pages that were blank and needed to be filled in, were written inscriptions. And those written inscriptions? Instead of a signature from everyone he meets, he asks everyone to write down what love means to them along with their name and where they are from. He said it might give clues as to what love is, where it comes from, and why we need it – from the perspective of people from all over the world.
Love has been around since the beginning of time. Without love, life would never have come to exist. God is love and love is God. Love is life. Life is love. Everything is love. The Beatles once sang, “All You Need Is Love” and they were absolutely right. Anyone who has love or experiences love knows its power. Love can cause both pleasure and pain. Love is unique among humans, as we are the only ones to try and explain it, understand it, and look for it. All other animals may experience a type of love, but its just instinct to find a mate, reproduce, and protect the offspring to spread the genes.
This innate instinct has been studied, researched, and explored for years, but who knows what drives the desire for procreation and life, the must and need to pass on our genes. Are we striving to find perfection in our offspring? Are the genes trying to survive or do we personally make the decision for wanting our genes to survive?
Regardless of the genes we pass on, love creates and love destroys. Entire cities and civilizations have been wiped out in the name of love seen under the reign of Cleopatra. Genghis Khan is another conquerer who wiped out entire generations of boys and men and replaced them with his own genetics, though it was not done in the name of love, he did have many wives who probably did love him. It is said that about 1 in 200 men or 8% of all men in Asia are a descendant of Genghis Khan. It may not seem like a lot of men, but if you are in filled-to-capacity Giants Football Stadium, which has a capacity of about 82,500 people, it would mean that about 6,600 men in the Giants Football Stadium are related to Genghis Khan.
Poetry, literature, constructed buildings, and cities have been built in the name of love. Kings and men trying to impress women or their wives have moved mountains for love. New cures for diseases have been discovered trying to save the life of a loved one. Love has been the inspiration of humanity for thousands of years. Love knows no boundaries and is as infinite and powerful as the imagination.
Without love, there can be no continuation of the human species. While humans once shared this planet with other homo species, it is only the Homo Sapien that continues to exist. It may have been love that helped us continue living while our counterparts began going extinct. Without love, humanity has no reason for living and no reason to continue existing. Humans continue to seek purpose throughout their lives. Some may find purpose while others may never understand it. The true purpose of humanity has always been and always will be… love.
This infographic traces back through time love in human history.
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The Story Of Love
1989 BC Oldest known love song, written 4,000 years ago, discovered in the Middle East.
41 BC Cleopatra and Marc Antony: A true love story between the Queen of Egypt and most powerful Roman general which ended in mutual suicide.
27 BC Ancient Romans are the first to use betrothal rings to symbolize a couple’s engagement.
496 AD Pope Gelasius establishes St. Valentine’s Day in honor of Christian martyrs.
900 AD Origin of the word LOVE derived from the Old English word lufu.
1477 First known DIAMOND engagement ring is commissioned for the marriage of Duchess Mary of Burgundy, one of the most beautiful women of her time, to the future Holy Roman Emperor, Archduke Maxmilian.
1597 William Shakespeare pens Romeo and Juliet.
1632 Emperor of India Shah Jahan, builds the Taj Mahal in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, it was built with the labor of over 22,000 workers in 22 years.
1813 Jane Austen pens Pride and Prejudice, a classic story of love and class in the 19th century England.
1840 Queen Victoria’s fashionable white wedding dress firmly establishes white a the color for future generations of brides.
1849 “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” Bridges begin to follow this tradition taken from an Old English rhyme.
1936 Romance for the Ages: Readers are introduced to Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind.
1945 In love and war: Life magazine captures the euphoria surrounding the end of World War II.
1967 United States supreme court abolishes ban on interracial marriage in Loving v. Virginia.
1977 Sexy lingerie at mall near you: Victoria’s Secret launches in San Francisco.
1986 First dating website, matchmaker.com, launches in 1986.
2000 Netherlands becomes the first country to legalize gay marriage.
2011 Love and Royalty: Prince William marries Kate Middleton, the first “commoner” to marry the heir to the British throne in 350 years.
TO BE CONTINUED…
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Matthew Gates is a freelance web designer and currently runs Confessions of the Professions.