Thank you to Japanese Film Festival 2018 for inviting me to attend their opening. It is their 15th year anniversary.
There was a lot Japanese flying around in the hall as there was a delegation of representatives from Japanese companies like Mitsubishi Corp etc. We are all here to see the movie: The 8-year Engagement.
At first look at the title, we know that it is a romance flick. As the light darkens and the movie starts to screen, “Based on a true story…” appears on the screen.
The movie was a pleasing one. It’s about Hisashi, an average joe who fell in love with Mai. It’s about their journey from getting engaged to getting married, which took them 8 years! Just before she got married, she fell into a coma. Every year, Hisashi reserved March 17 at a wedding venue hoping that Mai would wake up and marry him. As the story unfolds, Mai woke up and did not remember who Hisashi was. When he noticed that Mai was uncomfortable with him, he made the decision to let her go. Talk about love.
The theme here is Love. Love is sorely lacking from the world today. Can we still experience love in a broken society? in 2017, Jack Ma introduced something called Love Quotient, in contrast to the Intelligence Quotient that we are so familiar with. Yes, it truly means you are a smart person if you have a high IQ but what is this LQ? He famously said if you want to be respected, you need LQ. LQ is about improving our ability to express love to ourselves and others.
Love as we know, means that you are passionate and care deeply about the other. However, so often our parental and social environments suffocate our ability and desire to express love. The ability to love is a unique one, it is in everyone of us. Some people love money, some people love to read, some people love power and so forth. Love is universal and can be identifiable beyond race, religions, boundaries, countries and languages. In every known human languages, there is a word to represent Love.
Let me list some “I love you” for you:
Bahasa: Saya sayang kamu
Filipino: Mahal kita
Vietnamese: Anh yêu em
Those 3 letters represent something so beautiful, faultless and pure. Why is it that after expressing that, one can become so hateful especially when things did not end as expected?
Many industries are revolving around love, some examples are music recording, wedding, florist, engagement rings, and many marketing campaigns which are targeting the emotion of love. Many special days are reminding us to love too, eg. Father’s day, Mother’s day, Valentines, even Good Friday etc. Love is definitely an emotion unique to humans. Modern religions are all based on unconditional love. In Christianity, Jesus died for us out of love. The idea of unconditional love is essentially what Buddhism teaches.
We would have a healthier conception of love if we understood that love, like parenting or friendship, is a feeling that expresses itself in action. If one repeatedly abuse the other, you do not love the other person. It is not only a feeling, the word hides the truth, you love through action too.
“ The love that is transacted like a bank loan or a credit card, has conditions and hence it is not love at all ”
In Fiddler on the Roof, when Tevye asks Golde whether she loves him after a quarter century of marriage, her wry answer is exactly on point:
For twenty-five years I’ve washed your clothes
Cooked your meals, cleaned the house
Given you children, milked your cow
She asks then, “If that’s not love, what is?”
I do believe the most powerful energy in the universe is Love. Einstein famously said that love is the most powerful energy there is, because it has no limits. Imagine a world without it, then, it’s not much of a world, isn’t it?
Giving is an example of love and taking is an example of lack of love.
If you have a heart, you can learn to love.