What is Love?

in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, i asked my students today: “what is love?”

i could literally (okay not literally) see their thoughts flying through the air.

a few “are you serious?” glances, a few “okay this is a weird assignment” eye rolls, and even a “this is dumb. i am NOT talking about love at school”  thought bubbles popping up. however, after the initial response and some deep thinking/reflection time, their own definitions emerged – and they. are. beautiful.

here are just a few examples of what amazing 11-year old minds can do; i am so lucky i am surrounded by them everyday.

Love is…when you can help someone and have fun doing it. When you spend time with family and friends. When you take time and listen to someone else’s worries and problems. When you can be a friend to the friendless.

Love means caring towards others – when your heart feels happy.

Love is willing to risk your life & feelings and sacrificing your greatest hobbies to be with someone who warms your heart and makes you forget about the worry in the world.

What is love? Well, it is a chemical reaction in your brain. And how do we get that chemical? When we put someone in our life and have feelings for them.

Love is happiness, joy, hope, pain, hard, and going through hard things for other people.  

i mean…come on. i knew i had some incredible students in room 402, but this took it to another level. after i heard a few of theirs, i shared with them my own definition. i’ll admit, i didn’t write mine…i saw it in a window at Hallmark one day. however, i haven’t forgotten it since.

“Love is everything. Everything else is just everything else.”

my interpretation of this quote is this:

love should take over your life. it should fill every nook, cranny, crack, hug, kiss, conversation, smile, laugh, cry, “good morning” & “i’m sorry.” all the other ‘stuff’ is just stuff. love can do amazing things, and there is no such thing as too much of it. it can exist in a smile to a stranger just as much as a grand gesture. love can do all of these things, love should take over your life – but only if YOU let it.

this is the article that inspired my class writing prompt today, and my absolute favorite is the last one:

If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend you hate. 

i am making a choice to let love fill my life, not just be present or even prevalent. i want it to be completely full. to the brim. as full of love as you would want a glass of ice water on a 102 degree day in Iowa on the 4th of July.

i am making a choice to prioritize the ‘everything’ instead of ‘everything else’. starting with letting it drive out negativity and hate.

luckily, i have some pretty genius fifth graders meeting me at school tomorrow to hold me accountable.

i’m leaving you with a question. feel free to use as a personal reflection, but i’d also love to hear what you come up with.

what’s your definition of love? how will you let it fill your life?

thanks for reading ∼ lots, and LOTS of love, kelsey

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