Week 19 - LoveBy Jeff Bryan
I want it to be a testament to how we’re supposed to live our lives. Whoever we come into contact with, whatever their walk is, the greatest gift we can give is to love them.
Photo Credit: Patrick Gray
For an overview of each weekly slide presentation, please skip below to your specific grade level.
To see the 1-page Love Character Card and share it with your students’ families, click here.
For the P2 Reflection Journals, used by all elementary students at the end of the week, click here.
Love means that you value close relationships with others and being close to people. The character strength of love represents the way we think, feel, and behave towards the people with whom we have close relationships. When one person loves another person, that person: comforts and makes the other feel safe; sacrifices on the other’s behalf; supports the other during struggles; and places the other’s needs ahead of his/her own. If you love a person, that person makes you feel safe and secure. You can be yourself with that person. You miss that person when he/she is not around.
Positive psychology looks at love as reciprocal, not one-sided. That means crushes, stalking, and celebrity worship do not fall into this strength. What is contained in this strength are: romantic love and friendship; love between parents and children; and emotional bonds between family members, friends, mentors, teammates, or coworkers.
This week’s example is two friends, Justin Skeesuck and Patrick Gray. Justin and Patrick are lifelong best friends from Idaho who grew up together, went to school together, and were the best man at each other’s weddings. At the age of 16, Justin was diagnosed with a rare neuromuscular disease, similar to ALS, called Multifocal Acquired Motor Axonopathy (MAMA).
In 2012, after MAMA had significantly impacted Justin’s muscles, he was watching a travel documentary about a pilgrimage route across northern Spain. Justin knew he wanted to make that trek and asked Patrick if he would go with him — which meant Patrick would need to push Justin. Patrick immediately said yes, explaining, “This relationship is such a gift…There was no other response in my head than ‘Yeah, I’ll push you.'”
So, why does love matter?
Love is imperative to an individual’s happiness and fulfillment in life. Love allows us to be intimate with another person. It allows us to open up to another person and be vulnerable. That openness gives us the ability to learn and grow. Loving another person and sacrificing on his/her behalf produces positive emotions. And, it helps you access strengths – and feelings – you never knew you had.
On a group level, love is vital for the well being of society. The world is endlessly interconnected. We are all dependent upon each other for survival and happiness. Love produces positive feelings, which help negate loneliness, anxiety, and depression. Without love, we cannot find intimacy nor form strong relationships with our families, friends, or communities. A world without love and connection is a dangerous world.
And, as a reminder, you can find all of our weekly slide presentations on our website’s Resources page here. This page is the place that we recommend you go to access all of the resources — not via Google Drive folders.
To find your grade level’s presentation, you can simply type the word “love” into the Resource Title search bar or sort by Character Strength and select Love. Each of those options will provide you with 10 slide presentations and one 1-page character card. For a simple overview of the Resources page, with pictures and videos, click here.