Early this morning, amidst some chirping birds frolicking in frost laden pine trees, I briskly walked through a small park on my way to work. Dry brown leaves, left over from last year’s failed autumn season cracked under my winter boots.
Today’s weather has been extra nice. Precious sun rays beamed shyly through the tightly branched canopy. The air was so still, placid and crisp, I was so afraid it would crack if I fart. Fortunately, I conquered myself. It is mind over matter, after all.
Nature is such a powerful source of inspiration. Suddenly I found myself sitting on an old park bench. The lab bench can wait, I convinced myself. I took out a piece of paper and a pencil. I don’t carry pens by the way. I find pencils more reliable than pens. Besides you can start a fire using a pencil if you have the patience to rub it against some dry wood. In Sweden, how to make a fire is a must for survival. No kidding.
I had nothing in particular in my mind to write about. I even thought I’ll just do some squirrel sketches and then leave. But as the tip of the pencil touched the surface of the blank piece of paper, I decided I’d write about love and commitment. Strange, indeed as it is not even Valentine’s Day.
Now allow me to start my inquiry by asking when was the last time you whispered “I love you” to someone? Yesterday? Today? Five years ago?
Now, have you ever said “I commit myself to you” to anyone? How many times have you uttered this phrase?
Why does it seem easier to say “I love you” than “I commit myself to you”?
My take on this lies on the very nature of love. So vague, so undefined. As abstract as it can get! It can assume so many different meanings. Love between two friends, love between two lovers, love between mother and child, love between brothers and sisters, and even love between blogmates. Love simply comes in gradations.
Now, commitment is an entirely different entity. It is kind of a binary digit. A bit so to say, which can only take two values, either 0 or 1. It is either you commit yourself to someone or not. You cannot say “I commit myself to you BUT yada, yada, yada.” But how many times have you heard someone or even yourself say “I love you but yada, yada, yada?”
When two people part ways, it is often the case that they still love one another. Or at least a trace of that lovin’ feeling is still left in each other’s heart. Commitment on the other hand doesn’t work like that.
Why? Because love is made in the “heart” while commitment is made in the brain. Everything of course is decided in the grey matter. For lack of a better term, I called that illogical part of the brain as “heart”. It’s just semantics.
And that was all I managed to write this morning while sitting on a park bench. Not only was I getting hypothermic but I also realized some cell cultures waiting to be harvested in the lab.
There are still a number of questions I wish to address regarding this topic. Are these two mutually-exclusive? Can one love someone without committing one’s self to that person? Or can one be committed to someone without loving that person?
The best scenario of course would be that someone is in love with you and is committed to you at the same time, but if all comes to worse, which would you rather have, love or commitment?