“Loving someone doesn’t give you carte blanche to treat them badly. Loving someone is not an excuse.”
– Dr. Camille “Cam” Saroyan, Bones
Season 8, Episode 16, “The Friend in Need”
When Cam says this, she’s speaking to her adoptive daughter, Michelle. The two of them love each other, of course, and they both know it, but Michelle has taken it a bit for granted. She came back from college for a weekend, and, wanting to spend the time with her boyfriend instead of Cam, without hurting Cam’s feelings, she just didn’t tell Cam about it. It might not be that bad (especially on a show about murder mysteries), and they mend things quickly enough, but Michelle’s still done her mother wrong.
And when her secret is outed, she tries to hide behind how Cam knows Michelle loves her. True, Cam knows, but that’s no excuse. It doesn’t wave away Michelle’s mistake.
Loving someone, and knowing they know about that love, doesn’t mean we can just do whatever we wish without proper regard for their feelings. If there is some situation that could mean hurting their feelings a little, then it’s better to be straight with them, and ask for their indulgence, instead of trying to simply avoid the situation altogether by sneaking around, as Michelle did.
It may be small, but it counts as an abuse of those feelings, and if we engage in such abuse once, even with the best of intentions, that turns into doing so twice. Then thrice. And before we know it, it has become a pattern of pain and neglect which hollows out the love which was once so abundant and bright.
Love is a treasure beyond price… but even priceless values can be spent, little by little, until there is nothing left.
And that’s without even going into those more dramatic instances between couples, one of whom is kept by the words while the other so freely engages in unfaithful behavior.
Hmm… unfaithful. An interesting word. If faithfulness is the firm and unyielding dedication to hold true to one’s word, promises, vows, values, etc., then a lack of such (aka infidelity) is not restricted to couples and romantic relationships, is it? Cheating significant others, abusive parents, neglectful children, traitorous friends… how many of these have excused themselves with words of love? Words which did not match their actions.
Now, I don’t mean to rake anyone over the coals here. Indeed, that is one thing we must not do to either ourselves or others. I merely mean to say:
Love is not an excuse, and it must never be used as one.
That’s certainly good advice there. People can go too far when they use love as an excuse.
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