On Love

This has been floating around the internet but I like it so much I'm posting it, too.  

Thanks to the darling April at Adorn Inc.  for turning me on to it!  Smoochies!

A little intro:  John Steinbeck wrote this letter to his son, Thom.  At the time, Thom was fourteen and attending boarding school and wrote to tell his father that he was in love and asked for advice.  Here is Steinbeck's letter to his son.  

November 10, 1958
Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning.  I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First - if you are in love - that's a good thing - that's about the best thing that can happen to anyone.  Don't let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second - There are several kinds of love.  One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance.  This is the ugly and crippling kind.  The other is an outpouring of everything good in you - of kindness, and consideration and respect - not only the social respect of manners but the greatest respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable.  The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn't know you had.
You say this is not puppy love.  If you feel so deeply - of course it isn't puppy love.

But I don't think you were asking me what you feel.  You know that better than anyone.  What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it - and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful.  Try to live up to it.

If you love someone - there us no possible harm in saying so - only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel inside is not returned for one reason or another - but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I am glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan.  She will be very welcome.  But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to.  She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don't worry about losing.  If it is right, it happens - the main thing is not to hurry.  Nothing good gets away. 


Image:  Blooming Hearts by Tea Photography.


  1. Oh I just got giddy that I got a mention on one of my absolute favourite blogs!!! Yay! I absolutely love that letter. I keep going back to it. Especially the last line. It's awfully comforting in the confusing whirlwind that romance can bring.

  2. You're so sweet! The last line is so good, isn't it? So simple and yet so true. It might end up written on a piece of paper and framed in my house!


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