Tag Archives: M. Scott Peck

All About Love Synopsis: Week 1.

All About Love Book Cover

AfroMadu’s book is back this winter and we are sooo excited to dive into bell hooks’ All About Love: New Visions. Our first week discussion was even more phenomenal! I wont go too much into detail about the discussion chapters, 1-4, but highlighting a few things from our twitter meet-up will help us remember what went on, and move forward with the next chapters.

For starters, our viewers were so excited to talk about love! Not only did we have detailed feedback, but folks even chimed in with videos on their definitions of love. Thank you for all of our Instagram followers for dropping 15 seconds of knowledge about love!

Surprisingly in the first chapter we were stunned to figure out, that our prior notions of love and its elements, is NOT what hooks’ described in her book. Coining her definition from M. Scott Peck, (author of Road Less Traveled) love, she claims is:

“as the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another spiritual growth,”

Wow! talk about shaping our love into that definition! Becoming FULLY invested in another spirit. That’s heavy.

Throughout the beginning chapters, she continues to refer to this type of love as the model love we should have all when we begin interacting with people.

hooks then begins showing our errors when we are not conscious of how we define love personally. She shows this through our adolescent years ( and the idea of beatings and punishments), our significant others, human connections between males and females, and even considering a long lasting and committing love.

hooks is handling us with the proper care and appropriate knowledge on love, and this is EXACTLY what we need during a time where movements and revolutions are beginning. Understanding the concept of love and how loving is flawed through these realms is very important.

Review our actual discussion tweets and tell us what you think! Has your definition of love changed after reading? Do you feel your love was tainted during your adolescent years? Do you see any correlation between the idea of care and love in men and woman? Let us know!

 

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Peep a Storify of the discussion here: https://storify.com/AfroMadu/bookclubmadu-12-7-14-discussion

 

 

 

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Love: An Essential Nutrient.


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Messages in mass media today give love a bad name. Switching on the radio, you’ll hear songs of either bitterness in regards to love or of heartbreak, which give off the impression that love is a scarring experience as opposed to an essential component for survival, sanity, and growth. Common sentiments about not needing love, primarily in this age, have turned us away from the free-spirited lovers of the 60’s flower child era singing The Beatles’ hit song “All You Need Is Love” (1967) to the jaded individuals who choose success, independence, and capital over love. Could this new impression of love be a reaction to ignorance of the idea’s actual definition? What is love, anyway?

American psychiatrist and notable author, M. Scott Peck, defines love in his 1978 novel The Road Less Traveled, as “The will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth”. In this sense, love is a selfless act. In her novel Paradise (1997), literary laureate Toni Morrison proclaims, “Love is not a gift. It is a diploma,” asserting that love is something to be earned, a benefit reaped as a result of hard work and dedication. These are two interpretations of love we rarely hear about anymore. Instead, love is commonly associated with acts of possessiveness, jealousy, obsession, and straight up emotional instability. Misconceptions of loves true meaning have led to the current demonization of this concept. In ignorance, lovelessness has become normalized in our day-to-day interactions with one another.

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Believe it or not, we need love. Without care/nurturance, one of the several components that make love, we can die, whether in a metaphorical, spiritual sense, or a very literal, physical death. According to PsychologyToday.com researchers have discovered infant mortality rates are 30%-40% higher among babies in orphanages who lack nurturance during infancy. Those who don’t perish grow into persons who struggle with empathy, fearing physical touch and having trouble establishing connections with other people.. As a species who is dependent on one another to navigate through the world, this is a prime example of how necessary it is to have love at one’s foundation. Also, love is literally in the mind. Recent studies haves mapped out about 12 areas of the brain that function to convey our expression of love. Some of these areas release various chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and oxytocin, commonly known as “the love hormone,” proving, for the skeptics, that love is not a myth.

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Earlier I mentioned care as one aspect of love. Amongst care, commitment, knowledge, responsibility, respect, and trust are all components that function to create love, according to bell hooks in her radical book All About Love: New Visions (1999). We typically think of love as being just one of the aforementioned, when love is the work of using all in conjunction in order to add to your own and/or another’s growth & development. By these different definitions it’s safe to see love as enrichment, a safe space for us as humans to freely develop into the empathetic, sentient beings we were meant to be. Put simply, love is a tool of freedom not an excuse to seek ownership over another person. Being controlling hinders growth, which is in the way of love’s goal.

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In conclusion, we could all use a little more love in our lives, especially now with the many crises occurring globally. As these innovative author’s and psychiatrist have clearly stated, love is an act of selflessness, extending parts of you for the benefit another person and in turn, becoming, also, a benefactor. We are losing fellow beings, brothers, sisters, and friends, whether literally by physical death, or spiritually via a diminishment of sanity and feelings of loneliness in a fully occupied world because of love’s lack. I propose a rerouting of the newly popular lovelessness through a mass reteaching of love’s true meaning in a world that seems to have forgotten the benefits of what it means to bathe in the richness of love.