Life rule #4 / Love someone

12:00:00 AM

Adrian Tan gave a commencement speech called “Life and How To Survive It” to a graduating class in the National University of Singapore. My friend Pauline gave me a copy of his speech, and it got me to re-think my life and my priorities. He gave four rules:

  1. Do not work.
  2. Avoid telling the truth
  3. Be hated.
  4. Love someone.
As the title implies, this is about the fourth rule. This is the last of my Adrian Tan ravings, I promise.
(photo from the internet)
Adrian Tan said in his speech that loving someone has great benefits, and I completely agree with that. To begin with, people seem to bloom when they’re in love - the chemicals inside their bodies bring out a certain glow. On a deeper level, it seems that people in love are driven to make themselves better persons. Some do so to become worthy of their significant other’s love, while others choose to be better simply because they were inspired by the example set by the object/s of their affection. Whatever the motivation, loving someone is a great thing.

It's important to note that the world does not end if one's love is unrequited, because in the first place, one does not (or should not) love to be loved back. Whether or not the affections are reciprocated, the experience, itself, is and should be the reward of loving. And the real thing transcends physical attraction; through time, it becomes less about looks and more about brains, less about the body and more about the heart. This kind of love enriches the soul.

Okay, I'm not in a relationship, but I was in one for a good five years so I guess I'm still somewhat qualified to talk about this. I'm still having an awesome time being single, so I'm not really in a hurry to find a partner, because I believe it's extremely important to choose the right person. Real love is not Hollywood love, so don't expect to find your match the way they do in romantic comedies. Friendship is a good start for me. Being friends before we started dating, my former boyfriend and I managed to become friends again when our relationship was over.

Some people will argue that you should never love another person completely because you have to save something for yourself in case things go awry, and that's something I disagree with. I don't easily fall in love, but when I do, I go all in. And when it hurts, it hurts, but there's really no other way to do it. Adrian Tan said it beautifully, so I'll just quote him: There is no half-measure when it comes to loving someone. You either don't, or you do with every cell in your body, completely and utterly, without reservation or apology. It consumes you, and you are reborn, all the better for it.


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