Love vs. Lust

Ranier Alexander

“Love and Happiness. Yeah. Something that could make you do wrong, make you do right.” This was said brilliantly by Al Green, one of the greatest R&B, soul and gospel artists of his time. This quote states that love can drive a person to commit acts of extreme compassion and selflessness as well as influence one to make unforgiveable mistakes manifested through words or actions.

Before we continue, I believe a quick definition of the two sister emotions is necessary.

Love: The unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another. Lust: A passionate or overmastering desire or craving.

Though both of these definitions may sound good, I can tell you that one is pure while the other is fake. I think that all of us as individuals have our own definition of what we believe love and lust to be, and we also understand the difference between the two. I also believe that there are some who would choose to be lustful creatures instead of being loving humans.

But who am I to judge? I can honestly say that I have been a victim of both. Experiencing the sweet sensation of being with the only one you care about on a special occasion, such as Valentine’s Day, and also being with one that only satisfies your urges for a brief and temporary moment.

Both of these experiences have helped me to understand the difference between the two in my own way.

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Love is very powerful, and her beauty is matched by no other emotion. Love, being the cousin of Cupid, has the ability to bring two people together in holy matrimony and grant them a lifetime of unforgettable memories. On the other hand, her sister Lust (a devil dressed in red) has the ability to deprive a person from the true passion of caring unconditionally for another. Lust’s power is not as intense as her sisters, but she may be just as clever. Lust preys on the young, the weak-minded and those who have never got the chance to experience Love in her most raw form, which may not be their own fault.

“Society drives people crazy with lust and calls it advertising.” – John Lahr.

In the absence of love, a heart can become numb to this often cruel and overwhelming world that we live in nowadays. It is very sad to say that we as humans and animals have been driven by seen and unseen forces to become fighters more often than lovers. This is why violence, drugs, and corruption run wild throughout our culture and the world.

Before we as people can love and truly care for one another, we must first learn to love and care for ourselves. This is not obtained overnight and cannot be bought or sold.

“The desire of love is to give. The desire of lust is to get.” – Ed Cole

Being able to trust a person is the only way one will truly open their heart to another. Being able to talk and confess likes and dislikes of your partner to them is critical and should not be suppressed. And allegiance to your significant other should never be compromised due to lack of control or poor judgment.

“Love is a whisper, Lust is a roar, Love is given, Lust wants more, Love is offered, Lust just takes, Love mends the heart that Lust breaks.” – Unknown author

I share this with you so that if you have never experienced true love, I may be of some assistance, if any. And if you have encountered love or may be in a relationship of your own presently, hopefully I may give you a reason to continue to spread love, because we all know that it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.

And I don’t just mean give love to only your friends and family. Though your enemies and rivals may not deserve to be forgiven, releasing the hate and grudges from your heart will ultimately set you free.

P.S. I hope I didn’t ruin anybody’s Valentine’s Day with the truth. Have a safe and happy Valentine’s Day, University of Akron.