Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Growing Fond of You

One of the most remarkable by-products of Affection has not yet been mentioned. I have said that it is not primarily an Appreciative love. It is not discriminating. It can "rub along" with the most unpromising people. Yet oddly enough this very fact means that it can in the end make appreciations possible which, but for it, might never have existed. We may say, and not quite untruly, that we have chosen our friends and the woman we love for their various excellences--for beauty, frankness, goodness of heart, with intelligence, or what not. But it had to be the particular kind of wit, the particular kind of beauty, the particular kind of goodness that we like, and we have our personal tastes in these matters. That is why friends and lovers feel that they were "made for one another." The especial glory of Affection is that it can unite those who most emphatically, even comically, are not; people who, if they had not found themselves put down by fate in the same household or community, would have had nothing to do with each other. If affection grows out of this--of course it often does not--their eyes begin to open. Growing fond of "old so-and-so," at first simply because he happens to be there, I presently begin to see that there is "something in him" after all. The moment when one first says, really meaning it, that though he is not "my sort of man" he is a very good man "in his own way" is one of liberation. It does not feel like that; we may feel only tolerant and indulgent. But really we have crossed a frontier. That "in his own way" means that we are getting beyond our own idiosynchrasies, that we are learning to appreciate goodness or intelligence in themselves, not merely goodness or intelligence flavoured and served to suit our own palate.
~C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves, "Affection" (1960)


On this day:

1945 That Hideous Strength was published by the Bodley Head, London.
(from A Year with C.S. Lewis)

1 Comment(s):

At Tue Aug 16, 09:27:00 PM EST, Blogger Bob said...

Testing the comments and, to be on-topic, I'll say that I have noticed that affection is often the feeling one has towards one's co-workers. You would never have chosen to spend time with them on your own, but after being forced together, one begins to appreciate them over time.


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