[Weekly Word] Love’s scientific name

Illustration by Kevin Christopher M. Tee (2015); editing by Allister Roy S. Chua (2015)
Illustration by Kevin Christopher M. Tee (2015); editing by Allister Roy S. Chua (2015)

ˈhɑːməni |

“Harmony is just the scientific name for love.” -Frank Regis (Founder, Uncle Frank’s Green Honey Enterprises)

The human body is made up of more or less one trillion cells – one trillion cells that are each intelligent and autonomous. Yet in health, they all work together in perfect harmony with each other. We can see this with the way we feel and react to pain, with the messages our five senses receive and process, and many more everyday miracles of our bodies – things we take for granted. Yet the science behind it is so awesome that – and Uncle Frank of Philippine coco nectar fame had a point when he said this – you cannot help but appreciate your Creator more deeply.

As it is with the human body, so it is with society. Harmony in society is, in fact, very Christian, as we are called to be members of one Body – the Body of Christ. We are all invited to live lives of love, peace, and justice to make the Body of Christ – the living Church – function smoothly, normally, and perfectly. Though we are all intelligent beings all granted freedom, we are nonetheless asked to work together to further an agenda that is literally larger than life – the agenda of the Kingdom of Heaven.

As the human body itself demonstrates, harmony is essential if we want peace. A lack of harmony, even in just one small area, disrupts the entire system and order, and paves the way for further conflict or chaos to come. Harmony and love go hand-in-hand, so much so that Uncle Frank, as mentioned above, dubs harmony as the “scientific name for love”. You cannot have harmony without a loving nature, because to be in agreement or concord in itself requires an underlying, basic foundation built on love and respect, and not hatred and contempt.

If there is one thing love needs, it’s others. You cannot love alone; true love includes others always. This is why, for pastor Rick Warren in The Purpose Driven Life, the key is all about relationships with each other. Furthermore, relationships are what will carry over in heaven: You don’t need faith because the subject of your faith is already there. You don’t need hope because the goal of your hope has already been achieved. What remains? Charity, or love. Relationships with others, with the community of believers.

This is especially important in the agenda of our community. If we are to live lives rooted in responsibility towards others and society (among others), and service driven by faith, then it is a no-brainer that love and harmony – others-orientation – are the basic ingredients. We should all adopt this framework of mind and use it to run our lives.

And, once you really get to know what love (or Love) is, who wouldn’t want to live a life revolving around it?

Definition

noun (pl. harmonies)

  • [mass noun or count noun] the combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce a pleasing effect
    • the quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole
    • the state of being in agreement or concord
  • an arrangement of the four Gospels, or of any parallel narratives, which presents a single continuous narrative text

Etymology

Late Middle English, via Old French from Latin harmonia (“joining”, “concord”), itself from Greek, from harmos (“joint”).

In other languages

  • Bahasa Indonesia: harmoni
  • بهاس ملايو:
    • كهرمونيان (keharmonian)
  • Cebuano: panag-uyon
  • Deutsch: die Harmonie; der Einklang
  • Español: la harmonía
  • Filipino: pagkakaisa
  • Français: l’harmonie (fem.)
  • 한국어: 조화 (johwa)
  • Italiano: le armonia
  • ភាសាខ្មែរ: ភាពសុខដុម (pheap sokhdom)
  • Latino: harmoniaconcordia
  • မြန်မာဘာသာ: သဟဇာတ (sahajart)
  • 日本語: 調和 (ちょうわ)
  • ພາສາລາວ: ປະສົມກົມກຽວ (pasom komkiav)
  • ภาษาไทย: ความสามัคคี (khwām s̄āmạkhkhī)
  • தமிழ்: இணக்கம் (iṇakkam)
  • Tiếng Việt: hòa điệu
  • 中文: 和諧 / 和谐 (héxié)
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