PASSION: Young Love
The definition of love varies for each individual.
For this article, six children provide their take on how they view love.
Heartfelt and honest, their answers prove that children are indeed innocent
WORDS LIM YEN SHUEN
PHOTOGRAPHY LIM YEN SHUEN
Selfless. Accepting. Unconditional.
To many, it might be an unexplainable strong feeling of affection and to some, a passionate commitment.
What exactly is love?
That is what I asked six children, ages ranging from four to 11. Most of them replied that love is equivalent to family. Some of them responded that love takes on the form of a heart shape.
It was then that I realised that adults and kids approach interpersonal relationships in different ways.
Adults believe that love is a sensation, either based on physical or emotional attraction, which generates when they meet someone they enjoy being with.
“Romantic” love is usually based on self-benefits: benefits you can reap from the relationship.
However, to children, love is evoked from deep appreciation. They recognise the efforts of their parents and have high respect for them as elders.
People have been conditioned to hide our feelings, as self-consciousness start developing. That is how we become less naive and lose our ability to love regardless of the circumstances.
Can this childlike innocence be regained? Well, definitely not in its original form.
Eunice, four, giggled and gazed lovingly at her father when I asked her what she thought of the word “love”. I may never know what crossed her mind, but I can say that a child knows how to love and trust without restraints. She will not stop loving her family, even though her parents may reprimand her at times.
Children enjoy your presence and value your care and concern for them. This form of love is unconditional, not dependent on anything. Their minds are uncorrupted by evil or malice.
This purity and innocence is hard to maintain. The way we view the world becomes tainted due to our bad experiences. As we age, we start to put up barriers between us and our loved ones.
Another heartwarming gesture came from Lynn, a seven-year-old, when asked on whether she loves her sister, Sue. As a person who usually doesn’t share her food, she offered her sister a bite of you tiao (fried dough fritter). Actions sure speak louder than words.
With simple actions like this, children express genuine love which stems from deep within.
We have a lot to learn from children for certain.