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  • Writer's pictureYamit Armbrister

It's Not Wise to Love

St. Augustine, a Christian philosopher and theologian, argued that it was unwise to love or attach to another person in bonds of love.

Because then our heart breaks and we suffer deep sorrow if this person is not in our life anymore.

Why is it unwise?

Because it ignores one simple fact:

that we love and are painfully attached to a mortal.

In his fourth book of a series called Confessions, Augustine says:

“How could this sorrow penetrate my soul so easily... By loving a mortal as if he would never die...The soul naturally longs to find refuge in the bosom of those it loves. But it is impossible to find rest in the lap of mortal beings who are Ephemeral and are in a state of transition and constant change." (Book IV, Chapter 10).

Yes, there is a cold truth in Augustine's teachings and there is practicality in this advice that can protect us from heartache and anguish, but I humbly disagree because it is love for another person and emotional attachment that distinguishes us from every other living being in this planet. Love, yes, to a mortal, is a cornerstone of humanity.

The fear of losing a loved one is understood with no need to further explain, but it should not prevent us from loving, giving our hearts, and bonding with another person while knowing fully well that it is temporary and ephemeral. Because love is the most powerful emotion in the world, the one responsible for human compassion and empathy. The emotion by which humans manage to become lions and lionesses to protect their loved ones. Yes, this is the emotion that makes us dream of a better future and world.

What we mortals should have in mind is not necessarily the finality of life or the finality of a relationship with a loved one, but the love we felt, the memories we created, the feelings we felt when we loved despite the price of heartbreak at the end.

True, life is fragile, unpredictable, and temporary. Should these characteristics of human life be the reason to refrain from loving and being loved? Just so we don't experience the pain of being separated from someone we loved.

With all due respect to practicality and protecting the human soul from the pain of separation from a loved one, love is an inseparable part of being a human being, yes, to mortals.

Giving up loving and being loved because we are mortal is something I give up, even at the cost of heartbreak.

And you, would you refrain from loving and being loved so that you never feel heartbreak?

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