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In a recent essay by Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, he quoted David Brooks (yes, that David Brooks as far as I can tell) on the way a person maintains his or her love for another. Brooks said:
My favourite definition of commitment is falling in love with something and then building a structure of behavior around it for the moment when love falters. [Italics by R. Sacks]
I was moved by this practical and profound observation. It reminds me of those times when young people ask me when they’ll be able to stop working so hard at the relationship with a significant other, and I answer, “Never.” Personally, I would not use the word “work,” because that commitment comes out of devotion and dedication, not out of obligation. But in life, love can falter or be challenged, and we must decide whether or not we are in for the long haul.