Love For All Creatures, Great And Small

My daughter is studying Greek culture in school and so, by extension, am I. I’m relearning the gods, the philosophers and the mythology. And while I’m loving every minute of it, I’m patiently waiting for my favorite of the Greeks’ lesson – the lesson of language and their definition of love.

While I’m fairly sure the Greeks didn’t spend much time considering their relationship with their pets, they certainly contemplated life and pondered the various shades and complexities of words and definitions. In our modern world, we use one word “love” to describe an emotion as vast as the sea. We use the same word to describe our feelings for baby chicks, our kids and truly fabulous shoes, but are the feelings truly identical? Of course not. Leave it to the word-loving Greeks to provide a better solution, using four distinct categories to describe that lovin’ feeling: