The desire to love and in return to be loved is something that all people share. Even the crustiest individual secretly yearns for someone to see past their negative persona and prove that they are indeed lovable. From the moment a person is born, they seek out love.
Unconditional Versus Conditional Love
Anyone who has looked into the eyes of a newborn will be familiar with the appearance of unconditional love. Infants exude love. There is no judgment in their eyes. There is simply love. They are so very trusting and pure that they love everyone and everything. They assume that they will automatically be loved for everything that they are and aren’t.
For these little ones, love is not something that they measure. They don’t try to get as much love as someone else or complain when another person seems to be getting a little more than their fair share. Babies don’t hold back on giving love because someone is a little reserved or standoffish. They love wholeheartedly. Infants know that true love is unconditional and there is more than enough for everyone to have their fill.
It’s difficult for most adults to imagine being thrown into a world where everything is strange and new. Even the most basic rules are unknown and the only means of survival is to depend upon complete strangers. For any adult, the mere thought of such a journey would cause anxiety. Yet, for these tiny creatures, they not only accept the situation but do so with such gusto. Unconditional love just seems to come naturally to these new beings.
Every person on this earth starts off with this same openness and ability to love. It doesn’t matter if they are born into poverty, if their parents are drug addicts, or if they are abandoned at birth. They love nonetheless. Unlike adults, they know that everyone deserves love, that no one is more or less worthy of love, and that since love is infinitely available that it never takes away from them to give love.
Conditional Love is Learned
The concept that love is conditional is something learned over time. Within the first few years of life, everyone learns that certain things will make parents happy and other things will make them angry. The happy things tend to come with smiles and hugs while the angry things bring yelling and time outs. Thus, children will automatically come to realize that their behaviour determines that amount of love and positive attention. Before long, they believe that love is something that should only be doled out only to the deserving.
Some might ponder, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone felt and gave love like a newborn?” The world would be, without doubt, very different if every single person knew without question that they were loved, whether they felt they deserved it or not. Then, in turn, they could give love without fear of hurt or disappointment — changing the world as a result. It’s enough to make many realize the inherent wisdom of the newborn baby and his ability to love unconditionally.