Unconditional love

03 May

Suresh is out running his relay for the India Literacy Project and I am enjoying some alone time. I do miss him , even if it is for a day. This got me thinking. Is there such a thing as unconditional love?
Wiki says
Unconditional love is a term that means to love someone regardless of one’s actions or beliefs. It is a concept comparable to true love, a term which is more frequently used to describe love between lovers. By contrast, unconditional love is frequently used to describe love between family members, comrades in arms and between others in highly committed relationships.Unconditional love seperates the individuals from their behaviours.”

When we are born into a family, we love our parents and siblings. Parents & siblings welcome a new born with outstretched arms and I think the love that we feel for an infant is truly unconditional. But, is it the same once the kid starts growing?A child has love for its mother because he/she thinks his/her mom is the most beautiful, benevolent person in the whole world . And that feeling is imparted mainly from the mother and her love for the child. It is more of a reciprocity from then on and to me, it feels like it is no longer unconditional.Will our love be unconditional if our siblings did not show any love towards us and are hurting us by their behaviours.
To me, love is a bunch of dependencies- emotional, physical or monetary. Unless we are dependent on the other person, there would not be any relationship. If we can be detached, then that would be Sanyasa. As children, we are dependent on our parents for emotional and monetary security. Reproduction is essential to the human race and it is a matter of pride and ego to parent one’s child.Once we fall in love, we are dependent on the other person emotionally, physically and sometimes monetarily too. It is true love as long as we give each other space but it is definitely not unconditional. Anytime you live with a person, you should learn to co-exist and if you cannot , there is a problem. People are ready to divorce their spouses if they are not compatible because it is someone that they chose but when it comes to parents& siblings, there is no choice . We never get a chance to choose them.So, we have more of a tendency to accept them as they are, but even that , IMHO, is not unconditional.
People always get mushy when they talk about a mother’s love and most of the time , that is termed as unconditional. Mothers & Fathers come to our rescue whenever we need it. I should definitely know that, having a mother who has saved my life by donating one of her kidneys. When there is a calamity, undoubtedly, we all go to each other’s rescue and parents top that. But, on a day to day basis, is it truly unconditional?


Posted by on May 3, 2009 in Life Philosophical Thought


6 responses to “Unconditional love

  1. saumya

    May 4, 2009 at 5:28 pm

    Unconditional love is more of a Catch-22. Unconditional love starts out selfishly – you like the person, and slowly love the person (if that person is a tiny bundle you are holding in your hands, then caring and giving for the person starts the loving process) But slowly there is reciprocation and we build on that.

    Another thing is the time we spend together. If we devote enough time to knowing another person, understanding is bound to happen, and love will follow. I have known many instances where time and priorities alone could have achieved miracles.

    Anyway, good one to mull over a cuppa tea in the rainy weather!

  2. Sri

    May 5, 2009 at 11:40 am

    First reaction that is coming to me is… why worry so much about the term unconditional love?
    i.e. Was your blog triggered by too many people talking about unconditional love (like Patriotism etc.)

    People give extended rope (of love) for others to respond. If there is no response during that extended time (could be days to years), then we move on.
    That extended period of time could be called unconditional love. Relationships work as long as two people respond to each other within that boundary.

    There is another element of inherent ownership/responsibility which comes with titles (due to society or gene or morality etc.) like parents feel responsible for their children. This could be termed as unconditional love since they don’t expect anything in return. (little bit of gratitude is expected)
    I don’t think it is universal at all. I think societies have something to do with it. (and it is changing)

  3. shoba

    May 7, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    @ Sri,
    I agree with you. I think you protrayed my thoughts too. Why write about it? Hey, something to write about as a blog 🙂

    @ Saumya,
    If there is reciprocation, then it becomes conditional. I guess that’s what I was trying to say.

    ” If we devote enough time to knowing another person, understanding is bound to happen, and love will follow. “.

    If we devote enough time,once we understand them, two things can happen, either you love them or you may not. Reason for marriages to break up as I said , which cannot happen with Siblings & Parents.

  4. bee

    May 7, 2009 at 7:27 pm

    the dalai lama has a beautiful piece about unconditional love – what he calls “compassion” or love with detachment here.

  5. Padma

    May 8, 2009 at 7:23 am

    Beautifully written and this was the topic I wished to flick from you.May I?

  6. shoba

    May 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    @ Bee,
    Thanks for the link. It was very nice.
    @ Padma,
    Yes , please. I would love to see your views.


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