“He seems to take pleasure in this, and it reminds me of a debate I had a few weeks ago with Alex, when he was arguing against the usefulness of the cure. I said that without love, there could also be no hate: without hate, no violence. Hate isn’t the most dangerous thing, he’d said. Indifference is. ” – Delirium by Lauren Oliver
I recently finished reading this novel, and the writing in it was so incredibly beautiful that on more than one occasion I found myself pausing in my reading just to re-read certain passages over again and mull them around in my brain, trying to decipher what they meant to me.
This one in particular struck me. The novel is about a society in which they consider love a disease, and they mandate all citizens over the age of 18 to be “cured” of it. Basically, all the adults no longer feel love. Which is a thought provoker in and of itself.
The reason I chose this quote was because it made me think, among other things, about how much love goes unnoticed in our society today… how many actions can be traced back to being motivated by love. Just taking time to look around myself and watch the world, to pick out all of the little things that I never took notice of before.
Something as simple as sitting at my desk watching a motorcycle speed by on the highway. Normally, I would just think, “man, it is a nice day to be outside and I’m stuck in here at a computer all day” or “I really wish Utah would make helmets mandatory”. Today, though, my mindset is a bit different. I now find myself wondering who taught him how to ride a motorcycle. Was is something his Dad taught him as a teenager? Then I think of all the things my dad taught me when I was younger, and what he is still teaching me. I can’t imagine what my life would be if I didn’t have those experiences.
It made appreciate just how big of a part love plays in my own life. Not just in my relationships with the amazing people in my life, but in everything. My hobbies, my job, my attitude in general. I can’t imagine living in a world in which I was raised not only thinking that my parents didn’t love me, but knowing that they didn’t. That they could be sentenced to death or sent to jail for consoling my when I fell off my bike. It’s not only sad, its terrifying.
That’s the beauty in books. They provides all of us with the means to appreciate the world we do live in, albeit fractured and at times completely broken, by just putting some words on a page. I am starting to realize that my love for those words defines my life a lot more than I ever thought it did.