OPINION

Our generation needs to be reminded how to love

Megan Meyers

Lou and Olga Garcia will be married 65 years this spring. They fell in love in their 20s right as Lou was headed off to fight in the war, and the walls in their home today are covered by the love letters and poems they wrote to one another.

Throughout the years, the good and the bad, they have continued to love and support one another no matter what. Six years ago, Lou was diagnosed with a brain tumor and was quickly sent into surgery at 85-years-old.

Many people thought he wouldn’t make it because of his old age and poor health, yet he pushed through to survive. However, he unfortunately lost many of the abilities he once had and now has to be assisted to go to the bathroom, eat, walk and speak.

He is no longer the young, healthy man that Olga first married. However, she continues to love him and help him live as normally as possible every day no matter how hard it is on her.

These two people are my wonderfully loving grandparents.

To me, this is the love all people should strive for and the kind of love we all deserve to have in our lifetime. However, a love like this is hard to find nowadays.

We have become the generation lost on how to love.

Our desire for attention is outweighing our desire to be in love. No longer do you see the wildly romantic gestures of the past, but young teens “sexting,” communicating over the phone or social media, and ultimately mistaking lust for love.

Sex has become a sport. People have taken advantage of it, giving themselves away for the game. Many people, college students in particular, abuse alcohol and drugs and allow themselves to sleep with a man they just met. Each year, the age gets younger for people who are sexually active, which saddens my heart.

With the media portraying these “perfect” images of men and women, it’s no wonder that insecurities have arisen in so many people, making them feel they have to be “perfect” to have someone to love them.

Rather than being attracted to a person’s true self, their heart, people have sex solely based on physical attraction thinking it’s what they need since they’ve never felt beyond the physical level.

Take the new film, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” for example, and think of the message it’s sending to people. It’s teaching us to accept the abuse or hurt one causes and just have sex through lustful emotions.

These are not the kind of role models we should be setting for people to follow, yet this is what the media is saying is okay for people to strive for. This is not love.

Physical attraction may be part of it, but it is not all of what love has to offer, and it has been completely misinterpreted. Part of this has to do with the fact that we are also a generation lost about communication.

We are constantly connected through social media sites and the crazy technological advances made through cellular devices like the iPhone, yet disconnected simultaneously.

Many relationships are held strictly over the phone or social media, erasing that personal, physical connection that is important to have when giving your heart to someone.

People mistake people’s feelings since they can’t really see the emotion behind a text message. We’re constantly worried about why he or she isn’t answering. When they don’t answer, the worst is assumed.

People don’t even seem to have real conversations anymore, but hide behind text messages to avoid opening their heart up and being vulnerable.

If you look around a restaurant while out to eat, I’m sure you will notice plenty of people on their phones even when they have a real, live person right in front of them.

So, how can marriages work when people can’t really communicate? Last year, the divorce rate in the United States was 40-50 percent. Half of those who leap into this huge commitment that was once viewed so sacredly are treating it too lightly, mistaking what love really is. Some marriages that stay intact, but couples are cheating and lying to one another.

Our generation needs to be reminded how to love.

I believe marriage is the most sacred moment in our lifetime. Giving your heart away and truly loving someone for all that they are should never be taken lightly. I refuse to believe love is truly gone, but simply lost in the eyes of many.

Lou and Olga have given me a love to strive for, and a love that all people need to remember they can have. So ditch the cell phone for a few hours, avoid your eager desire for attention, learn to respect yourself, and know how much you deserve. Love isn’t gone yet, and it is waiting for all of us.

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