Saturday, November 3, 2007

I Love You

Something happened yesterday, insignificant to the regular the American or Western culture citizen, but enough for me to notice. I was having a very pleasant phone conversation with a female friend of mine, and as we were closing it she said "I love you" and I replied back "I love you". You may be rolling your eyes now, but let me explain. Where I come from, a beautiful country called Cameroon, we don't say "I love you", parents don't teach their kids to say that, and they, the parents don't say it to their children. I mean literally say it, of course there are gestures that imply the "I love you" sentence such as a hug, a large smile, giving gifts but the phrase herself is rarely if not never pronounced. The contrast with the United States is definitely flagrant, saying "I love You" is the closing key note between family members. "I love you" has replaced "see you later" or "goodbye". Now, after a heptad spent here, I've observed some children in our little Cameroonian community, and they say "I love you" to their parents. And honestly, I believe it's a good thing. Nevertheless, I can't help myself but ask, what prohibit us from saying it to the people (aside the ones in our family) that are closed to us? Pride? I really can't find a good argument, may be it's the fear of what the other person may say or think about us. Perhaps, we're afraid that they may not say it back to us and we may take it as a sign of rejection, or perhaps we just don't want to get to close. Saying "I love you" is not just about those little three words, it does imply, "I'm available to you if you may need me", "I'll support you if you may need me", "I'll never betray you", "I trust you'll never hurt me". There are those implicit expectations we put out there, and just so not to risk our heart, we keep ourselves in our carapace.
On a Christian perspective, Jesus was a BIG fan of love, "Peter, do you love me?", "I'll give you a new commandment, love the Lord your God...", "People will recognize you belong to me by the love you have for one another..." and it goes on and on. Sometimes in church, the pastor will say "turn to your neighbor and tell them I love you or I'm happy to see you", I mean common, if one is honest with oneself, s/he will not trust that coming from a total stranger, especially the one while getting to his/her seat, stepped on your toes or bag or made you dropped your bible. When was the last you said I love you to s.o who is not related to you, and really meant it? Maybe it could be today if by stopping here, you leave me an "I love you" note, ;).

11 comments:

schekina said...

Great reflexion. I would like to seize this opportunity to let you know that " I LOVE YOU". I hope you will acknowledge that these three little words are not just from my lips (fingers on keyboard) but from my heart.
Martial

Tresor De Beaute said...

I love you too Martial!!

Oliver said...

I luv ya !!!

Tresor De Beaute said...

I luv ya 2 Olivier!!

Anonymous said...

Hey you know we don't often say it in our culture, because it means more than goodbye, God take care of you, if you need me I ll be there...but when we do actually say those four little letters, it means my home is your home, my family will become your family, I do not mind sharing my blessings with you, in case you need me you will not have to say a word that I ll be already there for you.

I love you.

Tresor De Beaute said...

I love you too Anonymous

Prince Hamiltion said...

Pat, you make me laugh. I don’t think it really just mean goodbye or see you later to the Americans though because some of my friends have told me Hamilton I love you and then I smile and they say I mean it really. The majority may be using it different but I think it still means the same as we use it back at home. I do not say it to a man but I will say it to a lady because of the connotation it may engender nowadays. I told my childhood friend “hey Ri I love you” and the guy exclaimed: “man I don’t know what is happening to you now that you have started loving men”. I laughed and laughed. Then I reversed it and said: “Ri I hate you” and then he goes: “what did I do man”? So you see, even though we are in America the expression will depend on who you say it else it paroxysm could augur ill.

Tresor De Beaute said...

Of course the context really matters, your childhood friend grew up in Cameroon like you where we don't say those words or hardly say them. And why he reacted the way he did (funny story). Also, I'm not implying that genuine 'I love yous' don't exist here, they sure do.

Prince Hamilton said...

Pat I have written poems of love. By the way you are almost 26 when will you really be 26? That date doesn't change ? Comment?

Prince Hamilton said...

je souhaiterai lire quelque chose de neuve ma soeur. Happy Thanksgiving.

Anonymous said...

i love ya.schekina, tresor,olivier,prince......
< pierre>

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