In the movie A Beautiful Mind, John Nash gives his Noble Prize speech and explains that despite all his mathematical searching, and throughout his struggle mental illness, it was love that made life worth living. Love was the answer to the question.
“I’ve always believed in numbers,” he says, “and the equations and logics that lead to reason. But after a lifetime of such pursuits, I ask, ‘What truly is logic? Who decides reason?’ My quest has taken me through the physical, the metaphysical, the delusional — and back. And I have made the most important discovery of my career, the most important discovery of my life: It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logic or reasons can be found.”
Jesus, Gandhi, MLK, and Mr. Rogers all believed that love was the answer to the question of our existence. Even less lofty troubadours such as England Dan and John Lennon told us that love was the answer. Philosophers, scientists, geniuses, mathematicians and poets have all come to the same conclusion that despite all our technological advancements, it is this irrational, emotional feeling that is entirely undefinable and quantifiable, that remains the most likely reason for our existence. Which does beg the question as to where it comes from, this love that makes no sense. It hardly seems evolutionary in nature, and scientifically dubious. Logically, it points to something illogical, what we might call spiritual, that relies on something as ill-defined as faith.
It’s a mystery that has never been solved. Or possibly, a mystery that is solved every day but that can never be proven, and so remains a personal understanding and nothing more. Because it’s also not clear that love is something that occurs between two people like the movies tell us. Romance is not about love. Love is not something to be exchanged, even though it can be given or received.
It is an act of faith.
In the movie Moonstruck, Ronny tells Loretta, “Love don’t make things nice—it ruins everything, it breaks your heart….We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die!”
Then they have champagne and oatmeal.
Love is the answer. It has to be as there is nothing else.