There are a lot of people I encounter here in Bend who will assert emphatically that feeling love is the answer to everything. I agree with them and then try to move on to how they express that love so that it is meaningful to people other than their inner self. The feeling of love is wonderful, but as a oxytocin hit it only lasts for a little while. For example, when I watch some sentimental events I have a warm, even hot feeling in my chest which over a few seconds seems to expand into my whole body. And then it is gone. I still feel good for a while, but the rush is gone. Perhaps for as long as an hour after the event, a subtle psychological test could still observe me reacting in more positive ways to those nebulous pictures they show college freshmen in psych classes. That is wonderful, BUT it doesn’t create any effect in anyone else in the whole world unless those loving feelings are somehow manifest in directed external actions. No matter how tiny the action that is motivated by the burst of loving feeling, it must be made manifest or the loving feeling evaporates into the uncaring immensity of the Universe. At the moment the action begins there must be the awareness that it is motivated by that moment of love, and at least occasionally while the actions are being performed there should be some awareness of why they are being made and directed at that loving event. What is being made into a real physical action is often called kindness. Another act of kindness is paying attention to another person when they are doing something, almost anything, with a social component. We are not born for ourselves alone but as members of a local society and of our interbreeding human species. Love that exists within us lasts but a moment, but an act that is motivated by that love becomes part of what is eternal. Pay attention to the person who is offering their view of the world to you; their wisdom wants to be acknowledged. You can do that by arguing with them or by agreeing with them, by struggling against them, or by physically supporting their actions. Both that working with them and struggling against them is my paying attention to their existence. Those things are acknowledging their existence and that is the supreme act of love. If nobody is ever aware of my existence I don’t exist as part of humanity, and if nobody interacts with some other person they don’t exist either and they are unloved.
Love is giving your attention to a person who is aware your actions being directed at them, and their actions reciprocated back towards you are what makes humans human.