Nothing has an importance that you did not give it, nothing has the power to make you sad unless you give it that power, and when you give someone outside of yourself to make you happy you are bound to another’s trip into sadness, for it is our realization of our expectation that brings forth the happiness we derive from that which is outside of ourselves. It is the failure of that whomever or whatever, to live up to our expectation which bring on our sadness. The wise person learns to be in the world, but not of the world, taking both the realization and failures of their expectation in stride and know that it, no matter what it is, will surely pass.
Consider the concepts of value, worth, and cost. Something we put a value on because everyone else does, diamond and gold are examples of things we value because everyone else does. Sometimes we put a value on things that no one else gives a hoot about, the name we give this is sentimental value. How much we personally value something does not depend upon what everyone else values, rather it is determined by what it is worth to us, but to obtain and hold it is controlled by its cost and what we can pay.
This is where the importance comes in for being of limited resources we must prioritize between wants and needs. Orr wants to expand to all good things, what we can afford varies according to our situations. When I was young I wanted that new fast pretty sports car, but I had to settle for what I needed and could afford, a used car that burnt oil. It was important that I have transportation, and I needed a car if I was to be able to go back and forth to work in order to earn the money for both what I needed and what I wanted.
I like gold and diamond, but would much rather have other things, so their value to me would be only trade them for other things that have more worth to me. So what is something worth? It is worth what someone is willing to pay for it, nothing more, and nothing less. When you hear on television, “Hold on a minute, I we will add this for the same price. No, we are not done yet, if you order today we will give you this and that. Am amazon $500 value all for $19.99, just pay additional shipping for all the freebies!” What is all this stuff worth? $19.99 if you are willing to pay it? No, for the shipping and handling adds $9 for the original item cost, and another $9 for the free things bringing the total to 37.99 plus tax. Or the pitch might go like this, “Order right now and we will double the order, just pay additional processing” A good deal? Depends upon whether you wanted the stuff or not and what you would have had to pay for it otherwise. Only you can decide if it is worth it to you or not. But just know this, there are no free things, everything comes with a cost.
The cost may be reflected in money, but just as easily an be seen in the amount of time you had to devote to it. Or in what you had to give up in order to spend your time and money on what you decided to get. Economist calls this an opportunity cost. When you decide to go here you cannot go there at the same time, so the cost of going there was not going here. In the example above, you can be assured that whoever is selling all that stuff for $19.99 is making a profit else they would not be selling it for very long. The additional shipping and handling assuredly does not only cover the cost of the shipping, but the cost of the item as well, and a bit of profit.
All I have said about value, worth, and cost applies to personal relationships too. Love is a value that most of us cherish, but as with all things valued it comes with a cost. Love comes in different stripes:
Eros, Philia, Agapē, Storge, and Thelema. I will give the full definition of each of these below, but for now I will just be referring to Eros the passionate love, with sensual desire and longing between a man and a woman.
The first cost that choosing one’s love is the forbearance of all others. The opportunity cost of picking a loved one, is the first cost and can grow burdensome for some. It is sometimes called the “7 year itch”, and for some becomes an unbearable cost, and leads to a search for the one that should have been the one. For some this opportunity cost is so light as not to be a consideration, but how many times have you heard someone say, “I wasted the best years of my life on him/her!” That is buyers remorse in matters of the heart. It leads to what we call ‘cheating’ or ‘playing around’, and puts decisions upon the partner, is putting up with this new behavior is worth it or not. To decide to divorce bring about a whole new set of cost involving the children, if any, and the lawyers and court costs. For some it is worth it, for others it is not and they either cheat in retaliation or just put up with it because they value the relation enough to pay its cost.
The cost of searching for a loved one, dating, and then courting once the heart’s desire is found has been a cost that falls mostly on men, but women pay a cost too. They have to put up with the expectations of their suitors. When a lot of men take a woman out, spend a lot of money on the date, they expect sex as their just reward. And in today’s attitude on sex many women accept the condition. They are willing to pay this price for the date. For other this cost is not worth it because of the values they hold.
Once you fall in love, you grant a lot of power to the one you are in love with. They can hurt you like no others can. This is only true because you give them the power to do it. In a relationship we all pay the cost of failed expectations. When we do this it is a cost we impose on ourselves whether we know it or not. When we expect our loved one to behave in a certain way and they don’t we are hurt. We blame the hurt on their behavior, but it was our own expectation of what they should have done that is the genesis of hurt. We expect them to remember our birthdays, anniversary, and act accordingly to our expectation and when they don’t we pay the price of disappointment.
We expect them to be truthful to us, and when they are not they impose a cost upon the relation that may or may not make it worth holding on to the relation. If we had no expectation of their being truthful they would be no disappointment and thus no cost to bare. Again, it is our own expectations that cause this pain, and when we have any expectations of others we open ourselves to disappointment.
What then, are you to just give up on expecting things from those you love? By no means! But I would advise you to consider the true source of your disappointment, and weigh the true cost that the relationship must bear. When the other fails to meet your expectation, say they did not take your side in an argument, by what right do we expect they should take our part? What if they don’t think we were on the right side of the argument, or didn’t have a dog in that fight? We go home in a huff, and make the other sleep by them self in punishment for failing to meet our own expectation of what they should have done.
Some cost should not be born no matter how much we value the relationship. Any physical hitting should break the bank, as well as a constant verbal assault on how useless and worthless you are should be your ticket to the door. Yet we all either know, or know of, people who stay in such relations for years. We cannot choose what is of worth for another, the price that they are willing to pay is in their hands not ours.
For those lucky enough all of the costs of the relation pail in comparison with what is gained by being in the relation. A fair bargain has been entered into by both parties where all cost is equally shared as well as the befits giving great value to the relationship.
I have gone on long enough in this vain for now, may return the subject in the future. Below are the different types of love I was talking about above:
* Eros (ἔρως érōs) is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. The Modern Greek word “erotas” means “(romantic) love”. However, eros does not have to be sexual in nature. Eros can be interpreted as a love for someone whom you love more than the philia love of friendship. It can also apply to dating relationships as well as marriage. Plato refined his own definition. Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or even becomes appreciation of beauty itself. It should be noted Plato does not talk of physical attraction as a necessary part of love, hence the use of the word platonic to mean, “without physical attraction”. Plato also said eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth. Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth by eros. The most famous ancient work on the subject of eros is Plato’s Symposium, which is a discussion among the students of Socrates on the nature of eros.
* Philia (φιλία philía), which means friendship in modern Greek, a dispassionate virtuous love, was a concept developed by Aristotle. It includes loyalty to friends, family, and community, and requires virtue, equality and familiarity. In ancient texts, philia denoted a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers. This is the only other word for “love” used in the ancient text of the New Testament besides agape, but even then it is used substantially less frequently.
* Agapē (ἀγάπη agápē) means “love” in modern day Greek, such as in the term s’agapo (Σ’αγαπώ), which means”I love you”. In Ancient Greek it often refers to a general affection rather than the attraction suggested by “eros“; agape is used in ancient texts to denote feelings for a good meal, one’s children, and the feelings for a spouse. It can be described as the feeling of being content or holding one in high regard. The verb appears in the New Testament describing, amongst other things, the relationship between Jesus and the beloved disciple. In biblical literature, its meaning and usage is illustrated by self-sacrificing, giving love to all–both friend and enemy. It is used in Matthew 22:39, “Love your neighbour as yourself,” and in John 15:12, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you,” and in 1 John 4:8, “God is love.” However, the word “agape” is not always used in the New Testament in a positive sense. II Timothy 4:10 uses the word in a negative sense. The Apostle Paul writes,”For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved (agapo) this present world….” Thus the word “agape” is not always used of a divine love or the love of God. Christian commentators have expanded the original Greek definition to encompass a total commitment or self-sacrificial love for the thing loved. Because of its frequency of use in the New Testament, Christian writers have developed a significant amount of theology based solely on the interpretation of this word.
* Storge (στοργή storgē) means “affection” in modern Greek; it is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring. Rarely used in ancient works, and then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family.
* Thelema (θέλημα thélēma) means “desire” in modern Greek; it is the desire to do something, to be occupied, to be in prominence.