Growing up, we're taught a variety of different things in school both on an academic side as well as general life lessons. Some are given more emphasis than others but generally speaking, I'd argue that the school environment is meant to mould and shape individuals so that they can one day be part of society, giving you the tools necessary to survive.
I always found it interesting, especially as someone who was educated in both a catholic elementary and high school, the general emphasis that is placed on sex. Whether you were taught about abstinence or on the practice of safe sex, sex education classes have been the foundational basis for our understanding of that dynamic between people. But never in my education, has there been a proper, open discussion about love. While I am no expert on love and all its complexities, I think its important to have relationship/love education classes supporting the ones given about sex.
To formulate love and define it explicitly enough in order to 'teach' it certainly brings it own issues because we're quick to argue that everyone has a different opinion on love and how one experiences it.
But I think the same could be said about sex and yet we're educated on what it is, when its appropriate to have it, the consequences of it and how to practice it safely. Could lessons on love regarding those issues be just as fundamental to today's youth who seemed just as uncertain as ever on love terminology?
I remember discussing this with a friend of mine of lunch a few months back and it struck us both odd that we now live in world where teenage pregnancy has become a televised trend, where relationships can often be viewed as fleeting experiences especially with the greater increases in divorce. I also think teenagers are not given the proper platform to talk about something like love, that they are often brushed aside and told that their opinions on love are both jaded and irrelevant due to their age. But if you look back on your experiences, i would caution to bet that your first experiences with love or the concept of love and relationships started in your teenage years and have had a big impact on the way you view love moving forward in your life.
While my first real relationship didn't come until the very end of my teenage years, I certainly fondly remember the interactions I had with boys in high school, the expectations and desires I had, the kind of 'love' I wanted to find for myself. It's interesting to wonder if a love discussion in class would help me see things differently.
It would be interesting to see the kind of discussions and problems that around brought up in a classroom focused on a better understanding on what love means to other people and to themselves. It would also provide a good environment to discuss the more difficult problems that many couples and relationships face such as abuse and violence, marriage, commitment, communication, intimacy, expectations..etc
Just something to think about…