Why we Should Love the Non Lover
Loving happens as natural as the rising of the sun. At some point in our lives, we all profess to love someone or something. For as long as the word and notion of love has existed, there have been innumerable attempts to explain just what love is and whom we should or should not love. Even the Bible, commands its believers to love their neighbors, family, friends, and enemies as they love themselves. The Phaedrus, one of Plato's greatest dialogues delves into the love in terms of who would be best for us to love and why. Phaedrus makes mention of a speech by Lysias, whom he strongly admires, that states that one should strive to love a non-lover, someone who does not and will not love you in return, but why? In this paper, I will discuss Lysias' idea of loving and who we should love and then I will present Socrates' refutation of this argument and why we should love the non-lover.
Love is a complicated subject, which cannot be explained in just one sentence, which justifies why Lysias' speech was so verbose. Phaedrus and Socrates go off to the forest to discuss the speech, away from the city and politics, which allow relaxation when conversing about the topic at hand. In general, Lysias firmly believes that one should love someone who does not love them in return. But, he didn't stop there, he gave several reasons why this is the best way to love someone. The first reason that one should love a non-lover is because the lover is driven by passion, and the non-lover associates with the beloved out of free will (231a). So that, the lover is inclined to do things with and for the beloved because of his feelings of affection, and due to those feelings only. Without passion, the lover would not be interested in the beloved in any way, in that once the passion dies, so does the desire to associate with the beloved, leaving the beloved deserted. On the other hand, the non-lover befriends and associates himself with the beloved out of pure free will, without regard to any feeling of pleasure or passion. So that there is no passion present to die out and thereby the non-lover will never desert the lover.
Also, the lover will very likely blame the beloved for distracting him from personal, business, or academic affairs, so that the lover appears to be preoccupied with the beloved and ignores his prior obligations to school, such as homework, papers, and studying, career plans, home life, and friends (231b). The lover becomes so entangled in doing stuff for the beloved, that the beloved comes first, above all and everything, by his choice, but at the fault of the beloved. When this happens, the lover becomes immoderate and has no balance within his life. While the non-lover will always...