What is Love? via “Meet Joe Black”

Very frequently, I discuss what love is in my office with the people I see. Literally, I focus them on how love looks in relationships. Few times have I found a better description of it than that description given in the film, “Meet Joe Black”.

In the film, Death takes a holiday and visits earth as a human being, in the body of Brad Pitt, going by the name of Joe Black. He visits a particularly successful businessman played by Sir Anthony Hopkins, and his family. Death’s true identity is unknown to all but Hopkins; they are under the impression that Joe is simply a business associate/advisor. At one point, Death/Joe has a discussion with Hopkins’ son-in-law, “Quincy”, played by Jeffery Tambor.

Joe: “Quin, I find myself a little confused”

Quincy: “Confused…huh. What about?”

Joe: Love.

Quincy: Love. Ah… (Chuckles). Oh man…and I thought I had problems!

Joe: You love Alison (Quincy’s wife), don’t you.

Quincy: Yes!  I do (seriously, earnestly).

Joe: How did you meet?

Quincy: Well, I was this world-class loser and she was a happy little rich girl…and

for some reason, she took me in.”

Joe: “…but Alison loves you…?”

Quincy: (smiling broadly, he nods affirmatively)

Joe: “But how do you know?”

Quincy: “Because she knows the worst thing about me and it’s ok.”

Joe: “What is it?”

Quincy: “No…it’s not just one thing. It’s an idea…huh…it’s like….you know each

others deepest, darkest secrets…”

Joe: “Your deepest, darkest secrets…?”

Quincy: “Yeah…and then (with enthusiasm) you’re free!”

Joe: “Free…?”

Quincy: “…you’re free…to be with each other, love each other…totally. And there is

no fear…because there’s nothing you don’t know about each other and it’s


Joe: “Oh…”

I think that is a very good definition.

I read a book once about women and finances. It suggested before a woman marries, she and her espoused should sit and completely reveal to each other their personal finances, completely. I think they described this as “finding out who you are really getting into bed with”. Sounds like a very good idea, especially in the state of Illinois where spouses are held equally responsible for their partner’s debts.

You can see the similarities between this idea with finances and Quincy’s idea with revealing all your secrets with your lover.

I think the idea and practice is worth consideration, discussion and practice.

More later.