Dictionary definition of Like
:to enjoy (something): to get pleasure from (something)
:to regard in a favorable way
:to feel affection for (someone): to enjoy being with (someone)
There is a classic scene in the 1965 movie Shenandoah, where Charlie Anderson, played by Jimmy Stewart, has a conversation with his daughter’s suitor, Lieutenant Sam. In the film, Sam approaches Charlie Anderson to ask for his daughters hand in marriage. The conversation goes like this:
Sam: I want to ask for your daughter’s hand in marriage.
Charlie: Why? Why do you want to marry her?
Sam: Well, I love her.
Charlie: That’s not good enough. Do you like her?
Sam: I just said I….
Charlie: No, no. You said you loved her. There is some difference between love and like. You see, Sam, when you love a woman without likin’ her, the night can be long and cold, and contempt comes up with the sun.
With love can come hate, as the divorce rate shows.
This advice from the Shenandoah film impacted me years ago. For all the effort I put into being a loving person and loving unconditionally, I put forth as much effort “to like.” When we love a person, a book, a church, a religion, so much so, we may forget to like them. And, this can lead to hate.
But stop. And like.
Liking isn’t so apt to become obsessed. Liking isn’t so quick to hold false expectations. Liking is more open-minded, has a sense of humor, and can move past faults while yet aiming for the higher ideal.