As a concept, what is it that makes love so special? Most often thought of in romantic terms, the love between two people isn’t confined to the kind of gender-driven feelings experienced by men and women. There is love between family and friends, even the abstract love people can feel for humanity, for people they’ve never met or seen. Whatever its representation, however, the fact is that love is a strong force, a mover of mountains, its power enough to motivate and maintain life.

At its very highest level, love is unconditional, such as the love a parent may have for a child. It is an awesome force this thing called love, which we’ve tried without success to define, to control, and to direct. Tasted in its purest form, it provides the taster with a warm sense of security and well-being, a feeling unlike any other in the world.

Love, indeed, is a many-splendored thing, a force which gives us the strength to go on in the face of adversity, provides us with the comfort and healing we need for our ravaged spirits, and gives us a reason to exist when all other answers fail us. Its power is such that it can overcome fear, ignorance and hatred, prompting us to put others before ourselves, and their needs and safety before our won.

But there is also love of self, a truly special love which allows us to love another person fully and without reservation. By supporting our positive self-image, love of self ensures that we are able to share this part of ourselves with others. Love energizes the mind, refreshes and renews the spirit, and soothes the soul.

As a force for good, perhaps nothing has the ability like love to make all things seem possible. Like a bridge, it connects individuals divided by age and gender as well as race and culture as it spans time and defies logic. To date, no one has been able to accurately capture love’s elusive essence, its special chemistry and subtle nuances; and, perhaps, no one should really try. Instead, let’s be grateful for our ability to love and be loved. To be sure, there is nothing that compares with it in all the world.

What is love to you?