Defining love

Met a buddy of mine, from my NS days.

Seventeen years ago, we were in the same platoon for our Basic Military Training.

He was an extrovert, loud and brash, full of bluster. I was the soft-spoken introvert. He had only O-levels while I had a diploma in Business Studies.

But what he lacked in educational qualifications, he more than made up for it with street-smart confidence. I was definitely the more naive one.

My army buddy would be married in a few months time. We didn’t go into the typical “good old army days” talk, as NSmen tended to do.

We talked mostly about relationships.

We talked about love.

And he said something like this:

To explain what is love, it is not enough to say “It is a husband’s love for his wife”. Or “A son’s love for his father”.

Love is about a father getting up at 3am to feed his crying infant. It is about slogging hard and saving hard to send his child to school.

Those are acts of love. And that is the ordinary things people do in life.

I have concluded that Love is Life itself.

He said all that in less than perfect grammar.

Yet, as I write this, my own words seem less eloquent. And incomplete.

My army buddy.

He earned himself a diploma after his full-time NS. Today he has his own successful career.

He’s still loud. Still brash.

But I’m no longer surprised that beneath that bluster lies a sensitive soul.