But why does our society (I don’t know who the we in our are but you get it), generally fear good things like love? Why does it shame and treat badly those who dare to love?
I know you are going to challenge me on this. What do I mean? Do I have proof? Where do I get the confidence to make this conclusion? Well, I will tell you. I am a public displayer of affection. Yes. I love. And I don’t care if others who aren’t the objects of my affection see. I don’t bother to hide my love.
And I get shamed for it. I get told often to behave. I have ever been literally shoved out of an elevator with someone because we were really just talking. We were not just shoved out, we were harshly told to go find a room. It was funny. Why are people angry when others show love?
I know you are going to say that our society doesn’t shun love per se, that it is the public display they loathe but I don’t buy that. Why is love supposed to be hidden? Why does the same society encourage and cheer the public display of luxury and wealth, most times which are at the expense of exploited, underpaid labour, other times, direct result of crimes like embezzlement, bribery, robbery, etc but not the public display of a good thing like love?
A friend has a theory. That it is because love is mostly interpreted as erotic and romantic and these two are obviously related to sexual activity and so should be private. But it is factually untrue that everything sexual in our society is private or supposed to be. You haven’t watched television enough to see how publicly sexualized popular music especially the videos, is. So, it can’t be that we allow such sexual explicitness in the popular culture we consume but insist that erotic and romantic love must be private.
In any case, why restrict the idea of love to romance and Eros? Why?
Why is our society afraid of love and its public display?
And yet we love hate and its public display. I know the number of people who spread and entertain false and true news about others as long as there is Ill intent to spur the stories on. So and so has been insulted. So and so is saying that so and so is this and that. We are quick to spread such negative vibes. Lies and propaganda brewed out of dishonesty and greed and fear spread like wild fire. Not love.
When you publicly express love, the news doesn’t spread. The gossips do not propagate the fact that you are loving so and so. Praising them. But one day, you say something sinister about so and so. Most times dishonestly and aiming at destroying, but the vigilant and voluntary purveyors of the news will spread your lies even before the saliva dries on your lips.
Is it a surprise then that there is a deficit of love in many lives in our society? Again, don’t ask me for data. Check your immediate environment. If you are a teacher, check your classrooms and staffrooms at your school. Does love shape how you interact with students? Does love shape how you interact with colleagues? Does love shape how you interact with non teaching staff? Administrators? Support staff? So how can you have a fruitful erotic and romantic love life if there is fear and hate and egotistic power hunger in all other aspects of your life?
Why would someone feel slighted that two friends are walking together looking at each other in the eye and smiling from the heart, admiring each other, thanking the creator for creating them the way she did? Why would someone be slighted that two human beings are happily chatting, giving themselves high fives? Why would someone be angry that two lovers are kissing? Why would love be something to hide?
Of course some of you are thinking: Bwesigye wants us to embrace same sex love now, why is he going on and on about love and love and love, because the language around the right to love is dominantly used by queer rights activists and theorists but actually I am talking about love generally. The times I have been told to stop making noise in public spaces because we are happy and really in love have all been situations of heterosexual love (I can’t yet speak of any other anyway – write what you know things). The times I have been shamed for wearing matching clothes with a lover, that lover has been of the opposite sex. I just do not get it.
Even when it is clear, the love between two people isn’t sexual or erotic, why do we not at the very least ignore than discourage and police love? And we expect different results in our individual love lives? Let me take my love offline, but we need to beat a torch in ourselves. The energy we spend circulating hate and fear, why not spend it encouraging and sharing love?
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