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Love means to love that which is unlovable; or it is no virtue at all. Options
Daemon
Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011 12:00:00 AM
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Love means to love that which is unlovable; or it is no virtue at all.

Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936)
kitten
Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011 6:15:30 AM

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Daemon wrote:
Love means to love that which is unlovable; or it is no virtue at all.

Gilbert Chesterton (1874-1936)



I have yet to find the above quote, sourced.Think
I have even checked with the, American Chesterton Society, and could find neither the above or the below quotes, period. Boo hoo!



Love means to love that which is unlovable, or it is no virtue at all; forgiving means to pardon that which is unpardonable, or it is no virtue at all.

Love and Truth

“To love means loving the unlovable. To forgive means pardoning the unpardonable. Faith means believing the unbelievable. Hope means hoping when everything seems hopeless.”

“Love means to love that which is unlovable; or it is no virtue at all.



Please thank http://www.beliefnet.com for the first version of the quote in context and http://dahoglund.hubpages for the second version of the quote. Whistle Shhh Silenced



peace out. >^,,^<


The poor object to being governed badly, whilst the rich object to being governed at all. G.K. Chesterton
Joseph Glantz
Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011 7:14:27 AM
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I love Gilbert Chesterton's writings.
GabhSigenod
Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011 11:33:07 AM

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"Only a mother could love that face", in the mirror.

Mise, tá mé lán de dea-fhortún.
floyd
Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011 11:46:02 AM
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Friends --

I think that Chesterton got it right, but I found it a little hard to parse what he said. (Wait! I know! Who am I, of all people, to criticize others for lack of clarity! d'oh! )

He said: "Love means to love that which is unlovable; or it is no virtue at all."

Try this instead: "Living fully means loving all people, including those who seem unlovable." For me, that's the truth, not just virtue.

But then, GabhSigenod, goodness knows what a mother would make of the face I put on this . . . Whistle

floyd




“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
lesdmd
Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011 1:03:53 PM
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Sorry, but I think Chesterton is wrong on this one. To love, without reserve, without consideration, without any sort of judgment, is being a Pollyanna; and probably should be reserved solely for one's children. There are evil people on this planet and I may choose to forgive, absolve, or pity them; but I don't think I am prepared to go as far as love. This may not be in accord with many religious teachings, but then the world does not seem to subscribe to a uniform code. Perhaps in another universe, or another life...
nowherenothere
Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011 1:57:26 PM

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Thank you, Kitten. Your insights, perspective and penchant for context, accuracy and truth are a testament to your character and speak volumes about your spirit; very much admired and appreciated.


Forgiving is Love, Love is For Giving.
floyd
Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011 3:24:01 PM
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You've hit on the tough part, lesdmd. Think

Maybe the buddhist phrase "loving-kindness" would make more sense than "love". I might have said, for example. that "Living fully means having loving-kindness for all people, including those who seem unlovable." I don't remember ever meeting a person that I wouldn't want to treat that way.

It may be that only a "Pollyanna" can love, but reserving love solely for our children may be the tribal response that causes so much ill in the world. I want my love to go beyond my family, don't you? Even though I really (!) love my family.

Finally, what you say implies that all love is without reserve, without consideration, and without any sort of judgment. Is love really that simple? I don't think so -- I may love you, or share loving-kindness with you, and still make the judgment not to help you break out of prison.

Thanks for helping me to keep chewing on this subject. It's been good to "talk" with you.

floyd

P.S. I'm still having trouble with the way Chesterton said what he apparently said: "Love means to love that which is unlovable."

Would we say that help means to help that which is beyond help? Or that belief means to believe that which is unbelievable? Or that writing means to write that which is unwritable? Or that understanding means to understand that which is incomprehensible? Or that changing means to change that which is immutable? Give it up, floyd . . .





“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
nowherenothere
Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011 4:34:39 PM

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I've heard a similar quote, I'm not sure who said it first, "Those who are most difficult to love are those who need love the most."

Forgiving is Love, Love is For Giving.
lesdmd
Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011 5:02:02 PM
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Thank you for directing your response back toward me, Floyd. I'll try to clarify and elaborate around your thoughts:

Maybe the buddhist phrase "loving-kindness" would make more sense than "love". I might have said, for example. that "Living fully means having loving-kindness for all people, including those who seem unlovable." I don't remember ever meeting a person that I wouldn't want to treat that way.
>>I would certainly like, and attempt, to lead a life dispensing "loving kindness, and hoping it is reciprocated. Unfortunately I have met and know of people that "take" but never "give back"; and while giving love is sufficient reward in itself, I have little time to waste on those who are belligerent and hateful. It may be soul cleansing to "love your enemies" but it is often unproductive and even dangerous. This doesn't mean I don't try, only that there is a limit to my efforts.

It may be that only a "Pollyanna" can love, but reserving love solely for our children may be the tribal response that causes so much ill in the world. I want my love to go beyond my family, don't you? Even though I really (!) love my family.
>>I don't think I ever said only a Pollyanna can love, however a Pollyanna, by definition, finds good in everything and everyone; and while that good may be deep down inside somewhere I question whether we have an obligation to dig it out. History is replete with tyrants who I think repudiated any claim they might have on being treated with "loving kindness"; and while I would like to believe, and at one time probably did believe, John Lennon's "All you need is love" I find it rather naive at this point in my life. Unconditional love for children may indeed be a tribal response but it does not preclude loving outside the clan. There is a biological and an moral imperative to love one's children that one helped bring into the world.

Finally, what you say implies that all love is without reserve, without consideration, and without any sort of judgment. Is love really that simple? I don't think so -- I may love you, or share loving-kindness with you, and still make the judgment not to help you break out of prison.
>>I certainly never meant to imply that "love is without reserve, without consideration, and without any sort of judgment." Actually, I feared that I was being judgmental by suggesting that I impose my qualifiers before agreeing to provide "loving-kindness". I think it is far more simplistic to say I live a life of "loving kindness" applied to everyone I meet, than to say I weigh a person's attitudes and actions before granting him "loving-kindness." I think we may be circling around the very definition of what constitutes love. Even though I don't come close to believing in a conventional God, I believe "God is Love"...in the sense that perfection is achieving Love and that humans are neither perfect nor God.

Thanks for helping me to keep chewing on this subject. It's been good to "talk" with you.
>>I've very much enjoyed having the opportunity to sort out my thoughts. Nice "talking" to you too.

floyd

P.S. I'm still having trouble with the way Chesterton said what he apparently said: "Love means to love that which is unlovable."

Would we say that help means to help that which is beyond help? Or that belief means to believe that which is unbelievable? Or that writing means to write that which is unwritable? Or that understanding means to understand that which is incomprehensible? Or that changing means to change that which is immutable? Give it up, floyd . . .
kitten
Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011 6:17:21 PM

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nowherenothere wrote:

Thank you, Kitten. Your insights, perspective and penchant for context, accuracy and truth are a testament to your character and speak volumes about your spirit; very much admired and appreciated.



Hello nowherethere, Angel

Thank you very much for the kind words. *is blushing*


I am going to use the first quote in context as my example:

Love means to love that which is unlovable, or it is no virtue at all; forgiving means to pardon that which is unpardonable, or it is no virtue at all.


I think he means, turn the other cheek, as well as the other expression in the new testament, love means to forgive all. The interesting thing to me is the underlined part of the quote. Virtue.

Virtue and being seen as virtuous is also very important. Almost more important than the act of love or forgiving. One's own virtue and how you are perceived is uppermost as well.


peace out, >^,,^<


The poor object to being governed badly, whilst the rich object to being governed at all. G.K. Chesterton
MTC
Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011 8:03:34 PM
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Chesterton's statement is thought-provoking hyperbole. Does anyone really believe that Love is not a virtue unless it is bestowed on the unloveable?
If taken literally that would mean a significant amount of Love would be "unvirtuous." We love our family, a warm circle of friends and lovers around us, our pets, possibly our nation and maybe even mankind in general. Some of these may arguably be quite loveable. And what about self-love which most acknowledge as the predicate for a full life? In one dumb stroke Chesterton vitiates so much of Love, it is hard to believe anyone could take his crabbed definition at face value. Only saints loving the unworthy are virtuous in their Love? This is beyond riduculous. Chesterton's claim can charitably be undrstood as a reminder that loving the unloveable is a special virtue we should attempt to emulate--not that loving the loveable is "unvirtuous."
floyd
Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011 9:49:04 PM
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I appreciate your thoughts, lesdmd. I also appreciate that you got my number, with your four words at the end of my P.S.

I'm going to quote you on a post-it above my desk that says, simply:

"Give it up, floyd . . ."

Goodnight. Angel




“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
lesdmd
Posted: Sunday, October 30, 2011 9:57:57 PM
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MTC wrote:
Chesterton's statement is thought-provoking hyperbole. Does anyone really believe that Love is not a virtue unless it is bestowed on the unloveable?
If taken literally that would mean a significant amount of Love would be "unvirtuous." We love our family, a warm circle of friends and lovers around us, our pets, possibly our nation and maybe even mankind in general. Some of these may arguably be quite loveable. And what about self-love which most acknowledge as the predicate for a full life? In one dumb stroke Chesterton vitiates so much of Love, it is hard to believe anyone could take his crabbed definition at face value. Only saints loving the unworthy are virtuous in their Love? This is beyond riduculous. Chesterton's claim can charitably be undrstood as a reminder that loving the unloveable is a special virtue we should attempt to emulate--not that loving the loveable is "unvirtuous."


But Chesterton does not simply say "Loving that which is unloveable is a special virtue", he qualifies his meaning of love to have virtue only if it is bestowed on the unloveable. Your generous "charitable" understanding of the statement reads far more into it than is there. All love, except perhaps narcissism, no matter where it is directed, is virtuous; and some love and some things are more easily conferred with it than others. I would go so far as to say that it is an iniquity to love those things so undeserving as to be contemptible. Let the saints or gods provide perfect love.
Claws
Posted: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 4:45:40 PM

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I see it as loving the "unloveable" aspects of someone as well as the easy-to-love parts, the whole person.
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