AP Literature and Composition 12
19 October 2009
“Though We’re Strangers, Still I Love You”
I believe in love. I don’t mean love as it is typically defined, as merely a feeling of affection or desire for another. I believe in agape—the true love of pure friendship. One of several Greek words translated “love,” agape is unconditional and self-sacrificing, placing the well-being of the beloved before the needs of the one who loves. About a year ago, one of my friends, an exceptionally talented musician, called me and told me that she had just lost her beloved music instructor, the one who had first taught her to love music. She was completely distraught, and asked me to come and sleep over at her house. Even though I was out of school recovering from pneumonia, and the cold, damp weather would surely worsen my condition, I agreed without hesitation to go and comfort her. Why? I needed no other reason than this: she is my friend, and I believe that true friendships are marked by the presence and practice of agape love. I also believe that you don’t have to like someone to love him or her; you don’t even have to know the person. For instance, Saint Maximilian Kolbe demonstrated agape when he saved the life of a father of five by taking on the man’s assigned death-by-starvation at Auschwitz. Likewise, it is agape that sends a fire fighter into a burning building on a rescue mission, and agape is again at work as a person willingly takes a bullet intended for someone else. Each of these situations describes an admirable example of agape, but by and large, this heroic love is hidden in the humble actions of everyday life. I believe in agape that permeates the simple daily tasks of parents. Whether they’re washing dishes, clothes, or children; earning money or paying bills; fixing meals or fixing scars; all is rooted in agape and completed for their children’s sakes. I once knew a couple with three children of their own...