1928 - Alderson High School - 1968


Love: A deep devotion or affection
for another person or persons.
Dan Duff 09


My wife made a statement to me years ago that set me back about a mindset and a half. She said that love is a decision we make. Not a brash statement by any sense of the word, but a statement that makes you re-think just about every thing you ever thought about the word. Deep down I knew that statement to be true, but I had never made a clear distinction of the word decision. How many times have we used that word and claimed that word and promised that word to others without even thinking that it was a decision you had made within you. Love is a decision but many take it as just a puddle to step into.

I am sure we all remember our first love and thought we would die if we did not win that person to us. We had tried everything from gifts to trickery to win the person of our affection over. We suffered both publicly and privately when things didnít work out and we did not win the love of the one we chased. Unfortunately, a lot of times, the one we had chosen had made the decision not to love us.

We fall in love many times in our life with many different people and for different kinds of love. Oh, most of us donít go around flittering like a bee from flower to flower, but most of us make that decision many times with different kinds of people.

We usually start out at a very young age with a love for our parents. We choose to love them because they show us first they love us. They feed and clothe and give us a warm bed at night and give us affection and even extra affection when we are hurt, scared or we do something what pleases them. We make the decision early in life to love our siblings and other close relatives. This doesnít mean we donít have sibling rivalry, jealousy or envy within our lifetime, but we usually work through those little testy times and the older we get the stronger we stand by our decision to love. This type of love last a lifetime because it is so natural and given so freely by both sides.

We donít know at what point in our life when we venture out of the warmth and protected love of family and try to love others and try to get them to love us back. That takes more work and more time and the results just like trying to learn to walk or ride a bike has a lot of failures. We think that if they just got to know us a little better or could see inside of us they would be more than glad to choose to love us and would be grateful for it. However, life has a way of throwing us twist and turns that cause the best of intentions to go wrong.

We work and fail at love until hopefully that one comes along who returns our advances and makes that choice to love us with the same energy and fervor that we extend outward to become what we call true love. A love that stands against all the adversity that life and the world can throw at it.

We soon start having off springs and we make the decision to love our children as we were loved as children. We try to instill in them the love we have for them. It comes with all the heart and soul we can put into it, so they will in turn pass the love down to the next generation. We usually find the love we have and extend to our grandchildren is even more intense and sweet than that of our children. It is why you hear people say "that is why they are called grand-children".

We reach out and extend love to our neighbors, friends, and co-workers. This decision is usually made with some calculations and reservation. We love them to the extent we feel we can trust them. It is a shallow love and one that can usually be recalled or dropped at any given time.

At some point in our life we reach out for God. We, as we do with all others, have to make the choice if we want to love Him or not. Worship him or not. Follow him or not. He has already made the decision to love us. But God is the ultimate gentleman and he will not push His love or ask us to return His love, unless we make the decision to do so. He will, as all true lovers. return our love with all of his resources, but if we study Him and the way He works, we find that it is not automatic. We must reach out and make that choice to love. Once we do He is more than happy to return it. Because He is love and all giving, He will be more than happy to love us just as our parents loved us, but even more so.

The ultimate love I think we choose is the love we have for our enemies. If we can make that choice and stand by it then we have found the love of the world. It is extremely hard to make this last choice, because of the hurt and unkindness our enemies have brought on us, but it is worth the choice if we can make it.

We make the decision to love many ways and many times in our life. The older you get the better that choice sets in your ways, the more peace you find within yourself. At this time of year when we make the decisions of what gift shows the way you truly feel about your loved one, donít forget the biggest gift of all. The decision that you made to love that person, no matter the times or place or circumstance life has thrust you into.