Virtue of the Week: Love

By Nancy Bouchard

He stood six feet, nine inches tall and weighed in at 310 pounds. Rumor had it that he’d killed a man with his bare hands— just squeezed the life out of him It was the kind of reputation that gained respect in the rough city where we grew up. At fifteen, Willy was already a legend.

Willy and I played together since we both wore diapers, although we were the unlikeliest of pairs. He was a massive black giant and I was a pudgy little redhead. We both worked at the factory in town—I in the office, Willy on the dock. Even the hardened men who worked alongside Willy feared him.

He saw me home safely from work and I kept his secret that each night, instead of cruising the city streets, beating people up, he went home and lovingly lifted his elderly grandmother out of the chair she was confined to and placed her in bed. He would read to her until she fell asleep, and in the morning, he would comb her thin, gray hair, dress her in the beautiful nightgowns he bought with the money he made at the can company, and place her back in the chair.

Willy had lost both his parents to drugs, and it was just the two of them now. He took care of her, and she gave him a reason to stay clean. Of course, there wasn’t an ounce of truth to the rumors, but Willy never said otherwise. He just let everyone believe what they believed, and although everyone wrote him off as just another street hood, no one hassled him either.

One day, in Western Civilization class, our teacher read aloud an excerpt from Machiavelli’s ‘THE PRINCE’: “Since Love and Fear cannot exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.” I looked at Willy and winked. “that’s you,” I mouthed. He just smiled.

The next day, I lingered a few minutes longer than usual at school and Willy went on without me. Just around the corner from the can company, fire trucks lined the street and a thick blanket of smoke covered the sky. A small child lay wrapped in a familiar red- and -black checkered flannel shirt, held by a tearful woman. She was talking to a Fireman and a reporter from the evening news.

“This big guy heard the baby crying, and came right in and got us,” she said through Joyful tears. “He wrapped his shirt around the baby, and when the sirens came, he ran off down the street.”

“Did you get his name?” the reporter asked.

“Yes, sort of,” the woman replied. “He said it was Machiavelli.”

Love is…………….

What is Love? | The Science of Love

By Dr. Ross Campbell

In order to love teenagers, I must remember that

  1. They are not adults.
  2. They tend to act like children.
  3. Most of their childish behavior is unpleasant.
  4. If I do my part as a parent, coach, or teacher and love them despite their childish behavior, they will be able to mature and give up childish ways.
  5. If I only love them when they please me (conditional love), and convey my love to them only during those times, they will not feel genuinely loved. This in turn will make them insecure, damage their self-image, and actually prevent them from moving on to better self-control and more mature behavior. Therefore, their behavior is my responsibility as much as theirs.
  6. If I love them unconditionally, they will feel good about themselves and be comfortable with themselves. They will then be able to control their anxiety and, in turn, their behavior, as they grow into adulthood.