Sunday, July 22, 2018

Human love is of many kinds. In its highest form, it comes as a gift, freely bestowed on another person along with the offer of support. But such love does not come without a cost. There is a cost to the subject, and a cost to the object. Love can be betrayed by its object, when he shows himself to be unworthy to receive it, and incapable of returning it. And to undergo this experience is one of the greatest of griefs. But love for that very reason imposes a cost on its object, who must live up to the trust bestowed on him, and do his best to deserve the gift. Love is a moral challenge that we do not always meet, and in the effort to meet it we study to improve ourselves and to live as we should. It is for this reason that we are suspicious of loveless people -- people who do not offer love and who therefore, in the normal run of things, do not receive it. It is not simply that they are outside the fold of human affection. It is that they are cut off from the principle spur to human goodness, which is the desire to live up to the demands of a person who matters to them more than they matter to themselves.

Roger Scruton, Confessions of a Heretic.

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