Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski uses the term “fish love” to portray a thought exercise of what it means to love. His challenge is clear: so much of what is called love is merely a reflection of self-gratification. We claim to love, but our actions speak otherwise.
“Very interesting story about the Rabbi who came across a young man who was clearly enjoying the dish of fish that he was eating, and he said to the young man, ”Why are you eating the fish? – Because I love fish.” He said, ”Oh you love fish, that’s why you took it out of the water and killed it.” He said, ”Don’t tell me you love the fish, you love yourself. And because the fish tastes good to you, therefore you took it out of the water, and killed it, and boiled it.
So much of what is love is fish love.”
This allegory fits well with the story of a child who, out of pure excitement and terror, grabs a fish out of the water to save it from drowning.
At the heart of their message is the question: what does your love look like? The fisherman claims to love, but his focus is self-gratification. The child acts out of concern, but is ignorant of the fish’s needs.
Do not simply seek out someone who cares. You will find many people who care. The important thing is to find someone who cares for the right reasons.