What is Love?

Contains Major Vinland Saga spoilers!! You’re safe if you’ve completed the anime or don’t care about anime and manga

Of course, as Valentine’s Day comes round once again, I embark upon a topic I do not believe in. Love. Pretty sure I’ve done this before but after watching Vinland Saga, I thought it was worth writing about again but with what the Priest from Vinland Saga thinks of human love instead.

When Prince Canute asks the priest what all the care and affection he received from Ragnar amounted to if not love, the priest said, “discrimination”.

When you google discrimination, this is the result.

In essence, based on what the priest says, love is simply the preferable treatment of those close and dear to us. Personally, I can get behind this idea. When you think of the way humans love, it is usually by putting certain individuals at a higher priority as compared to the rest. In a sense, with only a limited amount of “love” humans are capable of showing, all it really amounts to is discrimination. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say that we are innately inclined to be biased?

We have a preferential bias to certain individuals and show them care and concern befitting of how much we value them. Is this not what we proudly proclaim as love to those around us?

What love truly is, as the priest suggests, is being able to share care and concern to everyone around regardless of who or what they are. At least, that is what I concluded when he referred to a dead body as the embodiment of love.

Referring to the dead body, he said, “When he died, he became more beautiful than anyone among the living. He’s love itself. He’ll never hate others or steal anymore. He was abandoned there. He is going to give his body with generosity to the beasts and the insects. He lies exposed to the wind and the rain, but won’t speak a single word of complaint. Death… perfects a person.”

I will admit, it’s a really extreme way of thinking. Yet I can’t help but agree. Humans, no matter whether you are of the belief that they are born good or evil, will over the course of their lives turn evil. We can’t help it. Perhaps saying that might be an excuse but can one truly stay pure and untainted in this society? Personally, I would be say that it certainly isn’t possible. Even so, we continue to “love” in whatever capacity we have.

I’m glad you’re evil too – Cover by soraru (english captions available)

From here, I’m gonna ramble on so if you want you might want to consider the post to have ended here.

In the song I put up above, it has lyrics that go like this,

“Even if I try to look serious, somehow it just seems fake to me, you know? I can’t become a good person.”

This really hits me because no matter how I behave around others, at the end of the day, I don’t find enough value in myself. The fact that I try to appear to be a serious hard working person feels so fake and no matter what appearances I keep up, I myself acknowledge that it doesn’t make me a good person. As someone who hates things that have no value because I think they are a waste of time, I ultimately have to hate myself. No good would come out of my existence. Ever since I’ve grown capable of thinking of more than just my studies, I’ve come to question the reason as to why I exist. To me, having come into existence was my loss. Destined to have to suffer in a life where studying and working is an eventuality that I cannot escape as well as death which is murky and uncertain. What comes after death? Heaven, hell, reincarnation or perhaps simply non-existence? (I’m sincerely hoping for non-existence)

Whatever you may believe in, there is no certainty. You can’t tell for sure unless you yourself have experienced death.

Even as we live life, there is little incentive as most fun things are seen as a waste of time (playing video games, watching anime etc) or riddled with risks(sex and STDs). I’m not proud of it, but naturally, I have sexual desire as well. However, there are just so many risks of actual sexual interaction that I’m honestly content with just self-relief. Or rather, being a coward who hates to take unnecessary risks unless absolutely necessary, will likely never experience sexual interaction with the opposite sex.

With the amount of self-hatred I have in mind, two different quotes come to mind.

“One can only learn to love themselves when someone else comes to love them first.” and “How can one love others if they fail to even love themselves?”

Very personal ramblings ahead

With regards to the first one, while I don’t want to downplay the love my parents have for me, I can’t say that it helps me to love myself at all. In fact, while they are constantly looking out for me, it makes me feel more like an incompetent individual who would already be failing in life if not for my parents. Being loved and put in a favourable environment in which I could focus wholeheartedly on my studies and nothing else, I’ve grown up into a 20 year old who doesn’t know the basics of life because all I’ve ever done is study. In the end, it just gives me more reasons to hate myself. Knowing that my parents have also come to realise this fact makes me feel even worse. Why? It’s because of how often they point out all my flaws that I acknowledge but often fail to work on either due to laziness or simply the fact that I’m a coward. Two major flaws being the inability to interact with anyone I couldn’t care less about (about 99% of people around me) as well as the lack of interest in general affairs (everything not related to anime or manga). In other words, you could refer to my existence as one that revolves around anime, manga and Japanese music. A useless existence don’t you agree? Anyway, since I still haven’t come to love myself, it should be obvious that I can’t actually love anyone either.

Seems like I can’t even finish a post without getting side-tracked. Anyway that’s all from me this Valentine’s. Here is a nice video for you to listen to this Valentine’s Day to lighten your mood after my relatively long and negative post.

– K.A.L.T

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Categories: Inspired By Anime

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