Tango is not only a fascinating dance, but also a fascinating philosophy, culture, and lifestyle. The pursuit of tango is the pursuit of connection, love, unity, beauty, harmony and humanity, i.e., an idealism that is not consistent with the dehumanizing reality of the modern world. The world divides us as individuals, but tango unites us as a people and species. In tango we are not individualists, feminists, nationalists, liberals, conservatives, Democrats, Republicans, etc., but interconnected and interdependent members of the human family. Tango calls us to tear down the walls, to build bridges, and to regain humanity through connection, cooperation, reconciliation and compromise. It is a dance that teaches the world to love.

July 14, 2017

A Dance that Teaches People to Love

We use the word love to express many different feelings. To love tango is to be fascinated by and addicted to the dance. To love a country is to feel deeply attached to the country. To love a child is to adore and pamper the child. To love a friend is to appreciate and feel comfortable, agreeable and close to that friend. To love someone with superior intelligence, talent, character, or physical attributes is to hold great respect, admiration and reverence for that person. To love someone of the opposite gender is to be sexually attracted to that person.

None of the above alone completely expresses the true meaning of love. True love is a combination of all these feelings. It is the deepest appreciation, attraction, attachment, admiration, adoration, veneration and affection for someone for whom you are willing to give up everything. True love is altruist. It has no ego and pride. It is selfless, kind, generous and patient. It trusts, devotes, surrenders, obeys, gives, supports, yields, accommodates, tolerates, endures, forgives and protects - just like the way we treat each other in tango in order to work as a team. Love does not stop at the chemistry we feel, but more importantly, is what we do. It should not be taken for granted because the synergy of love, just like that of tango, ceases if the partners fail to respond and cooperate.

Men and women play different roles in love as they do in tango. (See The Gender Roles in Tango.) Men are strong and goal-oriented. For men, love means to provide, support and safeguard - more in a physical than emotional sense perhaps - and that is also how men expect from love. A man cannot feel loved if he is not appreciated, respected and revered. Women, on the other hand, are more delicate and feeling-oriented. For women, love means being adored, pampered, protected, and particularly being romantically, adventurously and heroically pursued. A woman cannot feel loved if her fantasy and emotional needs are not met. In other words, men need to learn to be more romantic, attentive and thoughtful in their relationship with women, and women need to learn to be more respectful, appreciative and agreeable in their relationship with men. Men and women are different, and they play different roles in life and tango. Learning tango helps us to understand these needs, to play our respective roles, to cultivate team spirit, and to achieve harmony through mutual submission, cooperation, accommodation and compromise.

It needs to be pointed out that most relationships are not love-based, but need-based, as it is the case in tango. Men and women have learned to love each other, because they need each other, and for the sake of their common good they have no better choice than loving each other. Like hatred, kindness is reciprocal. You do good to others and others will reciprocate the hospitality. In that sense, love is determined kindness, and the consequence of such efforts. Before individualism and feminism brainwashed us with egocentric, selfish, resentful and hateful messages, that is what people do to each other throughout human history. (See The Spirit of Tango.)

The ability to love is God's best gift to mankind, which makes us better husbands, wives, friends, coworkers, citizens, and tango partners. Imagine a world in which people all love each other, in comparison to the world in which we live. (See Tango Is the Search of a Dream.) Love is not only an action, but also a skill that needs to be studied, taught and learned. Of all the skills essential to a healthy, functional, stable and harmonious society, love perhaps is the most important one. This is true in tango and tango communities also. (See Tango Is a Relationship.)

Unfortunately, the American education completely ignores this. Our schools are dominated by capitalism, individualism and feminism that teach young men and women to be greed, individualistic, independent, self-seeking, strong-minded, disagreeable, competitive and aggressive, i.e., everything that is opposite to love. The result is disastrous. According to an internal Department of Homeland Security report dated March 1, 2017, most foreign-born terrorists operating in the United States do not become radicalized until several years after entering the country. This means our own culture has contributed to the radicalization of the young minds. This culture is also the root cause of the dissension, disunity, hostility, polarization, antagonism, uncooperativeness and dysfunction in our governments, the rapacity, competition, intolerance, hatred, tension, brokenness, divorce, violence and crime in our society, and many problems in our tango today.

Nothing has done more harms to the society than narrow-minded radical ideologies that teach people to be greed, selfish, individualistic, disagreeable, resentful, antagonistic and hateful. This country is desperately in need of love, and tango, a dance that teaches people to love. (See The Art of Love.)