Does unconditional love exist?

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One of the deepest mysteries in life is the inability to decipher ‘the real purpose of life’; a subject that has provoked numerous philosophical and religious answers, none of which has been consummately satisfying. For this reason, man is provided with the great task of deciding what path he must take in life. Man indeed possesses the power to create his own path, and he is by all means supposed to do so. Creativity, after all, is limitless, and man can create for himself one of limitless possible paths. The moment a man paves his own path, he must be prepared to accept the rewards and hardships that come along with journeying through it. Since he has made his choice, he must embrace the consequences.

A man can decide to be a Christian, Muslim, or Hinduist, and must be prepared to enjoy and/or suffer the consequences. He can decide to be adulterous, to be faithful to his spouse, or to be celibate for the rest of his life. He can decide to marry one wife, two wives or ten wives. He can decide to be a footballer, an engineer, or a doctor. In the same vein, he may choose to follow the path towards fame and fortune or follow the path towards selflessness and philanthropy. It is therefore possible to show unconditional love to one, two, or thousands of people, as long as you have decided within your spirit to create and follow this path; it all depends on how you choose to live.

Unconditional love, by definition, is a kind of love that expects nothing in return, that endures irrespective of the abusive and injurious behaviors of the other person, and that never diminishes in intensity. It is a kind of love that endures pain and suffering, while still showing concern for the welfare and success of another person/persons. It is indeed considered a rare form of love since most forms of manifested love are not without expectations; for example, we may show affection to other people, hoping that we may be loved back, or render help to some people, hoping that we may be rewarded in some ways. Unconditional love means ‘While suffering for someone, you never give up on him/her, and you continue to show your care.’

The question of whether unconditional love is more important than conditional love is a complex question. This is because different answers can be given as a result of various perspectives. While some people believe that a show of unconditional love can make the world a better place, there are other people who believe that such act is naive and self-punishing. People who support the idea of conditional love are more inclined to think that an expression of unconditional love is sick and self-destructive. A question that comes to mind could be ‘Do we have the capacity to show lasting concern to, and are we willing to make huge sacrifices for people who constantly make our lives miserable?’

Unconditional love is not the same as conditional love. Conditional love is the interest and care shown to other people based on their integrity, courage, financial status, the items they possess, their level of intelligence, character, beauty, sex-appeal, popularity, or any attractive trait they possess. This means that you wouldn’t have been drawn to them in the first place if they did not meet certain criteria/possess certain attractive qualities. It is a form of love that can die once the highly valued conditions cease to exist; i.e. once the conditions no longer exist. In other words, it is a form of love we show to those people we believe are worthy or deserving of it.

Since conditional love is ‘loving based on merit’, and unconditional love is ‘loving selflessly’, the natural inclination to show unconditional love is perhaps impossible, except by one’s parents, as a result of the direct biological link between parents and their children. The nature of unconditional love makes it lasting and unshakeable, irrespective of the agonizing experiences that may have to be endured for its sake. Ordinarily, such love doesn’t exist, except when shown by one’s parents (especially mothers), simply because most other forms of relationships can end and often end. Still, anyone can decide to show unconditional love if there’s a belief or code of conduct they live by.  

Although, unconditional love may be perceived as sick and unhealthy by those who do not believe in it, a supporter of this extremely rare form of love can share his perspective on how unconditional love remains that vital force needed to make the world a better place. It is the energy which makes it possible for one to see and hold on to the fact that there is good in a person. Unconditional love is what it takes to see good in other people, even when they are at their worst; even when they seem irredeemable. It is also birthed by the belief that a person will eventually experience positive transformation in character and conduct if provided with endless, unwavering support. While showing unconditional love will drastically lower your comfort-level, your ‘purpose’ for such act can be refreshing and soothing. At the end of the day, it depends on your perspective, and you can show it if you choose to.