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"I love you, Edgar."

Oh, really? Are you sure about that? There sure is a lot of love in a world full of problems, and it seems to me as though if everyone understood the requirements of true love that there would necessarily be less suffering, fewer broken homes, and not so many domestic disputes. I can't be 100% sure about that in light of missing evidence.

Most of this is aimed at guys, to save some extra typing and explanation. If you're a gal, please mentally insert the appropriate terminology in such a way that this does not make you feel like a lesbian unless you are.

I'm not the first to make this observation, but most people who claim to love each other really don't. As an example, look to a celebrity whom you find attractive: Do you love that person, or do you love her ("his," if applicable here) wealth, appearance, stature, or breasts?

Now, walk around for a little bit in a public area and notice all the handsome guys walking about arm-in-arm with cute girls at their sides. Do you believe they are more strongly attracted to these partners than you are? Jump on Napster and look up Trace Atkins' song This Ain't No Thinking Thing.

Give it a listen, and you hear words typical of shallow love such as "This ain't no thinking thing, right brain/left brain it goes a little deeper than that. It's a chemical, physical, emotional devotion, somethin' that we can't hold back."

Is there such a thing as devotion deeper than chemical reactions? I should hope so.

Last night I watched Jane Eyre on my TiVo powered unit. The movie lead me with mixed feelings about what was going on until the very end, because you can't determine how strong a bond is until it fails. If you want the spoiler (which I give here for the sake of the analogy), then continue.

At the end, Jane returns to her man and learns he's been in a terrible accident, which has left him scarred and blind. She remains adamant in her decision to remain with him for the remainder of her life. Then it becomes clear that she is willing to stick with it in sickness and in health, for better or worse, until death. How many people can you name who are the same way?

True love springs not from the heart, but from the mind; it's the power of will, to look beyond the surface and appreciate the value of the person, disregarding social or financial standing. Looking at a person thinking "She makes my heart go pitter patter is the wrong approach, I think.

Only through effort can true love be found. It's not something that descends from the heart, or happens by accident. I can easily appreciate good looks. Any damn fool can do that.

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