A different kind of love
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 12:02
Love is expressed in many different forms, from respect to sacrifice to a developed feeling. Students at USU have found their definition of love in various ways.
Mayran Mohamed, a sophomore double-majoring in English and international studies, was born and raised a Muslim. She grew up in Utah, but her parents were originally from Somalia.
She said in Islam, a man is supposed to marry for specific things: religion, personal wealth and inner beauty.
“In our religion a lot of people think because we wear the scarves that women are oppressed and when everyone thinks of Islam they think of the Middle Eastern culture, which there is a lot of arranged marriages, you can never fall in love, which is not true,” Mohamed said.
Mohamed said their prophet taught men how to love their wives, daughters and mothers.
“Now we know if he can do this, I expect all you guys to be like that,” she said. “So he set the bar high for us to respect one another, so for us, in terms of love in the religion, it is more or less respect.”
In Islam, whoever is performing a marriage ceremony will ask the man one time if he wants to marry the girl, and if he says yes, they ask the girl three times.
“The reason why it is so significant is because it’s supposed to ensure that this is something the girl wants to do, and that it is not something she is being forced into,” Mohamed said. “A woman cannot be married to someone unless she wants to.”
For Mohamed, love is respect.
“If you respect me and you respect my friends and you respect my family, then there could be something,” she said. “But if you are lacking that, there is like no way I can be with you.”
Mohamed believes there is more than one person out there for everyone.
“I think there are a lot of people that I can match up with because even if you have that one person, you are always going to have to make sacrifices,” she said.
For Marshall Greer, a junior majoring in public health and economics, love can be measured by how much a person is willing to sacrifice. Greer said he has always been willing to sacrifice for his country.
Greer has always been interested in America.
“Back in 2008 when they started introducing the health care policy, Obamacare, it kind of triggered something inside of me,” Greer said.
He said he spent most of 2009 reading something on health care policy and politics and trying to get caught up in the procedures. This was the start of him becoming politically active.
“There is a statistic from the last election that 70% of voters did not know that the Constitution was the supreme law of the land,” Greer said. “Ever since then I’ve been looking into starting a Constitution club to promote the Constitution.”
He said his love for the United States runs deep.
“It’s the best country in the world,” he said. “We have more opportunities than anyone else in the entire world. I’m willing to die for my country and I’m grateful for all those people that are willing to die for it and to promote freedom.”
Brian Cook, a first year grad student, believes everyone should have the freedom to love who they want. He has been with his male partner for almost two years.
They met using an online dating website.
“I think it’s stupid that I met him through that,” Cook said. “I hadn’t even been checking this email account.”
One day Cook decided to check the account and noticed he had an email from the man he is now dating.
“I looked and responded to him,” Cook said. “We ended up that day meeting up and went and paid my car payment. It was nothing big. We were just doing normal things.”
It took Cook three or four years to feel comfortable and figure out what he was looking for.
“When you grow up thinking you are going to go after one thing and then you realize you are something completely different, it doesn’t work out that way,” Cook said. “At the same time I think a lot of the values that I held as a kid I still hold now, and the same things I would have wanted then I do now. It’s just in a different person, in a different gender.”
For Cook, love is a developed feeling for someone who is important. He said it encompasses most kinds of love because it does not start out as something great.
“We started out as friends,” he said. “We would just get together, watch movies, play games, but the more that we were together the more we realized that this friendship was very important to us.”
Cook and partner have now become more than friends.
“I’m happy, we’re happy and no matter what difficulties come from outside, we’re happy,” Cook said.