Shahriar Shahriari

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Message of the Month

February, 2003

Loving Expressions

As small children, we respond to any loving gesture with a glow in our eyes and perhaps a smile of recognition. And the gesture needs not be great or overt.

The mere fact that our mother looks at us attentively, or our father smiles playfully, is sufficient to light up those little eyes.

Yet as grown ups, we formulate acceptable expressions of love. Any gesture that falls outside the realm of consensual standards is at best ignored and at worst falls by the wayside.

As adults, we learn to quantify and standardize expressions of love. A dozen roses, a box of chocolates, or a diamond ring are all acceptable and valid. Yet an attentive look, a playful smile, or simply putting away the dishes without a second thought, are simply facts of life.

And of course, by implication, quantification of love leads to further degradation of love. 2-dozen roses means more love than one dozen. A diamond ring is a much more loving expression than roses or chocolates. And needless to say, the bigger the diamond…

Exactly at what point did we lose our innocence? When did we start quantifying love? At what age did we lose sight of the value of the ordinary?

Was it when we were first asked, "Whom do you love more? Your mother or your father? Your sister or your brother? Or was it with those killer words, "if you love me, you won’t do this, or you would do that"? It may even have been the prevailing romantic myths of stories, movies and commercials that killed our innocence.

Regardless of what killed our innocent and pure notion of love, it is possible; nay it is essential to resurrect it.

They say it is important to express your love. And we all do in our own unique small and great ways.

But perhaps what is more important than expressing our love, is to recognize the mundane and non-standard expressions of love in our loved ones.

It is time to bring back the recognition and appreciation of the attentive look and the playful smile. They are more beautiful than the roses, sweeter than the chocolates, and more radiant than the biggest diamond.

© Shahriar Shahriari
Los Angeles, CA
February 2003

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