Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Like vs. Love: A lesson in semantics

1like verb \ˈlīk\

2a : to feel attraction toward or take pleasure in : enjoy <likes baseball>

1love noun \ˈləv\

3: to like or desire actively : take pleasure in <loved to play the violin>
(the above definitions are from merriam-webster.com)
I had the joy of spending this past weekend celebrating my grandmother's 83rd birthday. She's the matriarch of our family and her wisdom comes from many years of experience. I always learn a little something that gives me a different outlook on life when I spend time with her and my family. Even in the last year losing a sister and a daughter, having a stroke...she still chuckles for no reason when she answers the phone. Grandma is such a joy and we are so blessed to still have her with us.
But one thing that has always puzzled me is how she uses the word "love" where most people would use "like". I don't think I've ever heard grandma say she "likes" anything, but she "loves" everything.
If she wants something to drink she would "love" to have a pitcher of sweet tea over crushed iced.
She "loves" to watch her stories, but she does not "love" cop shows.
If she's cooking dessert she's going to ask what kind of cake do you "love", not which one you like. And she knows exactly what each of her grandkids "loves".
I noticed this more when I spent the month at her house after her stroke. And no matter how many times I tried to subtly correct her by answering "Yes, ma'am I eat pork chops, but I don't "love" them." or I would say I like cabbage, but after my 3rd helping, she'd look at me across the table and say "You LOVE cabbage, don't you?" (and start chuckling), and the same goes for molasses pudding!!! (YAASSSS!) Whatever she loves she's very detailed in it's preparation, whether it's for her or for someone else. She loves to make it because she knows we love it.
This semantic observation has made me change how I view even the smallest things in life. When grandma makes that statement about whatever it is she loves there's so much passion behind it. She's not being overly dramatic, but she doesn't waste her time on something that she doesn't love. It's either one or the other.
In the midst of my transition that's my new approach. I have to love the next thing I do. I'm not going to waste my time being indifferent about something. I find myself reading job postings thinking "I don't think I love that". Even with people I have acquaintances but since I've moved back home and reconnected with friends from years ago, but think about being away from my friends in Atlanta I realized "I really love them". Or even trying something new like Happy Hour at Sonic...I LOVE discount slushies!!!
The point is Grandma may not be a great scholar (she never graduated from high school), but she has taught me one of the greatest lessons in life. How to genuinely love...

No comments:

Post a Comment