Love of Parents

Sweet Mother, what kind of love do parents have for their children?

 

What kind? A human love, don’t they? Like all human loves: frightfully mixed, with all sorts of things. The need of possession, a formidable egoism. At first, I must tell you that a wonderful picture has been painted… many books written, wonderful things said about a mother’s love for her children. I assure you that except for the capacity of speaking about the subject in flowery phrases, the love of the higher animals like the… well, the mammals for their children is exactly of the same nature: the same devotion, the same self-forgetfulness, the same self-denial, the same care for education, the same patience, the same… I have seen absolutely marvellous things, and if they had been written down and applied to a woman instead of to a cat, superb novels would have been made, people would have said: “What a person! How marvellously devoted are these women in their maternal love!” Exactly the same thing. Only, cats could not use flowery language. That’s all. They could not write books and make speeches, that is the only difference. But I have seen absolutely astonishing things. And that kind of self-giving and self-oblivion—as soon as there is the beginning of love, it comes. But men… I sincerely believe, from all that I have studied, that there is perhaps a greater purity in animals for they do not think, while human beings with their mental power, their capacity of reflecting, reasoning, analysing, studying, all that, oh! They spoil the most lovely movement. They begin to calculate, reason, doubt, organise.

 

Ref : Questions and Answers 1954