What is the one thing you need to survive?

Food, shelter or water? These are the most basic survival tools, no? But If you were to ask me, I would say love is the one thing you need. You might be thinking, “What on earth? That sounds so absurd.” Let me explain.

To understand how important something is, you need to understand what it is. 1 Corinthians 13 talks about the significance of love and what it is. In essence, the passage starts talking about how even with any ability or amount of knowledge, or even if you have faith that can move the mountains, without love, it states, “I am useless.” This applies in any circumstance you are in, regardless if you have all the riches in this world – without love, it means nothing. It goes on and states the attributes of love, that “love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” That is the definition of love in the bible. A perfect love – that is most important of all attributes.

“But I don’t believe in religion!” 

Okay, putting aside religion, in a secular perspective, love is involved in our everyday lives – whether we are aware or not. Love is so powerful. Love is what gives us motivation and reason to keep going,the ability to trust people, and most importantly, love brings colour to our lives.

Love is not merely a feeling, or a morality; it is something so deeply rooted in our lives that it has relation to the body. It is the reason behind everything. The fact that you are here at school today reflects your love, whether it be to your parents, yourself, your peers, teachers, or even school and learning itself. Love is crucial, the amount of love we receive as a child, growing up and even to this day impacts everything. It shapes us in the way we think and the way we are now.

Love affects how confident we are and how well we cope with stress, and these are all affected by the way our parents respond to us, notably the amount of love they show. 

And yet the opposite, lack of love, can be deadly. Research shows without love people are susceptible to long-term psychological problems including depression, anger, anxiety, feelings of sadness, and are inclined to withdraw and self-isolate.

But even still, love is an antidote that will get you through the hardest times, whether you’re drowning in a sea of struggles or going through a hail storm of stress. Love is a pain reliever – you could be crying your eyes out, and yet the simplest hug from a loved one will suffice to make your day.

Love bonds people, such as marriage, solves problems that reconcile people, and love even creates – creating family, relationships and even life itself. Love is the reason we have trust, hope, faith and salvation in our lives. Without love, we would live in emptiness. A life so colorless, full of bitterness, and pointless life. Even if you are the most successful person in this world, without love, you could not enjoy it. 

Without love, us humans would not be humans. Without love, we could never survive. So whether in a sacred or secular perspective, love is the one thing we all evidently cannot live without.

Emily Santoso (14) is a writer for RE Generation-Z. Through serving in this community she hopes to build her personal relationship with God and challenge others to do the same. She enjoys playing basketball, listening to music and socialising.

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