Love is the only means I know by which we actively go against ourselves, hurting ourselves so others can be free/happy. It is the sentiment that is undefined, the one that artists try to capture through song and poetry because it is so difficult to pin down into other words. Unlike what Yuval Noah Harari says, love, this specific emotion, is what makes us deeply human. It’s the irrationality of it all that unites us and maybe, just maybe, the one thing that connects us to the other species in this planet and to Nature itself. Love is usually an ingredient for the recipe of happiness which you can find in the self-help books. I dear say it is the only thing. We call it many different names depending on the context, “generosity”, “empathy”, “mindfulness”, “family”, “care”, but if you dig deep enough, they all come down to love. Love by ourselves to ourselves, love by others to ourselves, love by ourselves to others (from your life partner to an entire culture). And yet, we are never taught to love. We are just expected to have it, which some studies show we do (in one of the forms mentioned earlier). I beg to differ. I think love is the ultimate “soft skill” (I’m not trying to diminish it but to bring it to common terms). Practice love from a young age and you will be fine with whatever life you have. Suffer from love from a young age, and you are sure to come into problems, later on, be it violence (self or towards others), unbalancedness, arrogance, self-doubt, and a whole host of other names we have for this lack of love in our lives. I realise this may sound very hippie to you, but there is truth to it, and so it’s irrelevant of time. I also have a theory that love is not taught because it’s not commercially interesting. What is best for the economy, to comfort someone for free or for the person to buy a new iPhone or piece of clothing or escape to the movies? Entire sections of our consumerist society exist to assuage our fears and try to fill the whole from lost love. Love, like all matters, would be best taught in the youngest ages, as we are more open to absorbing more then. And it would be a perfect precursor to the other things we lack but consider more adult, like “civility”, “respect”, “how to live in a group/society”. Those could be courses for later on. For centuries/millennia love passed from mother to child, and the village echoed that to raise the kid. Then the village was no more, and the city took over, so it was all within the family. These days, kids under two years old are already looking at phones and tablets, and those unstructured little lessons of love don’t pass anymore. In the US the situation is worsened by maternity leaves as short as two weeks when the bonding is occurring more deeply. So it is no surprise that we turn to text messages, instead of phone calls; or phone calls instead of face-to-face time. This only happens because we don’t know how to interact at that level. We don’t know how to suffer with each other. We don’t know how to win with each other. We don’t know how to get bored together. I know I’m a part of that group. Some call it empathy, but in fact, the issue is not knowing how to express feelings and how to react when others do the same. I’ll leave you with a fantastic article that covers one small side of this issue. Everyone is going through something.