Jacques Maritain‘s quote “We don’t love qualities, we love persons; sometimes by reason of their defects as well as of their qualities” emphasizes the idea that when we love someone, we are not just loving their good qualities, but the whole person, including their flaws and imperfections. This means that love is not just about liking someone for their positive traits, but rather for who they are as a whole, with all their strengths and weaknesses.
One way to understand this quote is to think about the people we love and admire. We may be drawn to someone because of their intelligence, kindness, sense of humor, or other positive qualities. But our love for them often goes beyond these qualities. We may love them for their unique personality, their quirks, and their flaws. We may find their imperfections endearing or relatable, and appreciate them for their honesty, vulnerability, or resilience.
In fact, sometimes our love for someone can be strengthened by their defects or weaknesses. For example, if someone we love is going through a difficult time, we may feel a stronger sense of compassion and empathy towards them. Or if someone we love has made mistakes in the past, we may admire them for their ability to learn from their experiences and grow as a person.
Maritain’s quote also highlights the idea that love is not rational or based purely on reason. We may not always be able to explain why we love someone or what exactly draws us to them. Love is a complex and multifaceted emotion that involves both our conscious and unconscious mind, our emotions and our intuition.
In conclusion, Maritain’s quote suggests that love is a deep and nuanced emotion that involves accepting and appreciating the whole person, with all their qualities and defects. Our love for someone is not just based on their positive traits, but also on their flaws and imperfections, which make them unique and human.