Aristophanes’ described love in Plato’s Symposium as the splitting of beings into two by the god Zeus. The being originally has two pairs of legs, two pairs of hands, two heads, two hearts and two stomachs. When Zeus splits these beings he creates two halves of one whole and henceforth begins the race to find one’s better half and to feel whole and complete again. In our society today we sometimes forget our original purpose of being whole once again and start to love things that are not our better halves.
The love of things, animals and self plagues our existence and our original purpose to be one with our better halves. Society fails to realize that any other love can be destructive when experienced at its extreme. Each array of love that is not directed towards the search of our better half creates ethical dilemmas which intervene the original meaning of love.
The love of things is one of the most plaguing aspects of our society. People these days are so entrenched in the acquisition of things they sometimes forget the important things in life. It is a popular belief in the East that people commit crimes or partake in unethical activities for two reasons: for money and for their kids. The former notion that people will do anything for money is quite universal. A man who wants power through money might rob a bank, a woman who wants to climb up the social ladder might divorce her rich husband for his assets but a generally good man who has never committed a sin will usually go out of his ethical boundaries for his child. A usually good, moral, religious but poor man might pick pockets on the street in an underdeveloped country to buy his child a present that he cannot afford. He would tell himself, ‘for the sake of my child and his happiness.’ A usually good, moral, religious but rich man might launder money to keep up the keep up the lifestyle of his children. He would tell himself, ‘it’s something I have to do for the sake of my child.’ In both cases the moral man commits a crime for his child. He commits a crime so he can give his child a life that he could not have or wished he would have. What fathers or mothers sometimes forget that while they are out making money either within or outside of their ethical boundaries to supply their children with things they lose precious amounts of time that could be spent with the child. A Harper’s Monthly Magazine essayist in the 1930’s wrote:
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