For time immemorial, people have tended to throw around the term ‘love’ with reckless abandon.
Still, Love ‘aint what it used to be and has become something of a wholesale commodity; cheap and expendable.
You may know the old proverb about the wise man who witnessed someone catch a salmon, carve it up and cook it for his dinner. The man then proceeded to eat the fish with gusto. In middle of his feeding frenzy, he picked his head off the plate for a nano second and loudly exclaimed, “boy do I love salmon!”
The wise man heard this and immediately admonished the man and said “you don’t love the fish at all, you simply love yourself. If you ‘loved’ the fish you’d have certainly left it alone in its habitat instead of capturing it, killing it, carving it up and eating it!
Perhaps a more current application of this concept would be the guy who loudly proclaims in front of his wife how much he loves her mother! Perhaps here too, the wise man would admonish the hapless fool and point out that he couldn’t possibly love his mother in law, but loves himself instead and therefore understands that he must tolerate her if he knows what’s good for him.
(Hey, sweetheart, if you’re reading this, I really DO love your mother, I’m not referring to her of course! I’m talking about my good buddies, Mr. Smith, John Doe, Tom Dick and Harry and their mothers’ in-law!)
But I digress.
The truth is there are still instances where love actually means something.
In such cases, love is more than mere lip service it is real, quantifiable, tangible and palpable.
I’ll give you two cases in point:
I discussed an admission with a family a few weeks ago. They were researching kosher Rehab facilities in NJ and they found online references (on this blog and elsewhere) to Regency Jewish Heritage in Somerset and Regency Park in Hazlet NJ.
They chose Regency Park for its proximity in relation to where they live and because they are Jewish and “love” it.
(This post acute rehab patient will be admitted to Regency Park later this week from Monmouth Medical Center).
Of course, I quickly pointed out that our beloved President often says that one need not be Jewish to ‘love’ life at Regency Jewish Heritage in Somerset, or Regency Park in Hazlet.
However, the salient point in both of these declarations from the family and our Regency Founder is that the term ‘love’ is invoked with meaning, accuracy and sincerity.
The second example came from a dedicated Regency employee who I overheard remarking yesterday, “I think we should move George to a different room because I love him and feel it would be best for him.”
Similarly, in this instance, the term ‘love’ is used with alacrity, honesty and purpose.
If this employee loved only her own self, she would seek to maintain the status quo and wouldn’t look to create extra work for herself. However, because she truly loves the resident, she isn’t concerned for her own workload, but also for the welfare and best interests of the resident.
When ‘love’ has meaning it rings true and its ‘expression’ is no less beautiful and exhilarating than Beethoven’s fifth!