Finding the true meaning of words can be confusing

IT NEVER ceases to amaze me how human beings have the propensity to complicate the simple things in life and give us all a headache.

IT NEVER ceases to amaze me how human beings have the propensity to complicate the simple things in life and give us all a headache.

Take, for example, the simple issue of love.

You would have thought it means no more than extreme liking. But no, pseudo-intellectuals think it goes deeper than that.

Many from my generation will remember a period in our lives when "Love is ..." was the craze. Smart entrepreneurs saw a gold mine and struck.

Soon the whole country was awash with T-shirts, crockery and other stuff emblazoned with the words "Love is - caring ... kissing ... hugging ... sharing - the whole gamut.

At school a teacher dedicated a whole period trying to analyse the word and convinced us it was in fact an acronym for Loyalty, Obedience, Virtue and Everlasting.

We believed those things.

We also believed that soldier meant Save Our Lives Death Is Ever Ready.

Looking back, maybe that is where we lost focus. We should have accepted that things were just what they seemed, and not suspected there were hidden, deep and profound meanings to everything.

When we debated, the first speaker would spend his entire five minutes dissecting every word in the topic, ostensibly to "simplify" it for the audience. We tore the topic into minuscule bits, explaining even words such as "is ... at ... from ... for". At the end of the analysis the topic would be as clear as mud.

You could think there was a hidden meaning in a straightforward line.

We (blacks) even take the trait at a spiritual level. If you say: "Leave me alone" and die shortly after that, speaker after speaker at your funeral will tell mourners that you actually meant "leave me alone. I want only my Lord".

That, they would say, meant that you "saw" your death coming.

If you say, "I am going home" (which you could be saying every day when you knock off at work), that would mean: "I am going home to Jesus."

Religious zealots must be pulling our their hair but, honestly, I mean no offence.

So rather switch back to the easy subject of love, and let me try to analyse it.

I recently overheard two young women at a car wash. I did not hear the beginning but gathered that the one had met a new beau and exchanged telephone numbers. When he called to arrange a meeting, he spoke about meeting at a platform at the train station.

"Imagine, my friend ... " she said mockingly, pulling a face. "The next thing he sends me a 'please call me'. No ways."

I gathered there was no meeting, and the "love" dissolved altogether when the please-call-me message rang.

That can't have been love, methinks. I have been told that I am daft: money does buy love.

Let me try again: Love is the kind of emotion Khanyi Mbau would be feeling for her ex, former millionaire Mandla Mthembu, had she stuck with him even when he ended up being a queue marshal at Bara taxi rank.

Or if he worked in a barber shop.

Too complicated?