Love Turns Stone to Flesh

“We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.”  Voltaire

Have you ever read Emily Dickinson’s poem #807? The one that starts off with “Expectation—is Contentment…” Well, I’m not sure what that means. However, in 1968, psychologists Rosenthal and Jacobson published a book, Pygmalion in the Classroom, indicating that a teacher’s expectations of his students will affect their performance. If you expect a student to do well, he’ll do well just as if you expect him to do poorly, he’ll do poorly.

Rosenthal and Jacobson referred to this phenomenon as the Pygmalion Effect, named after Pygmalion, the Greek sculptor who fell in love with one of his statues. In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Pygmalion was so disgusted by prostitutes that he declared women no longer interested him. Nevertheless, he carved a statue of a woman who was so beautiful that he fell in love with her.

Imagine, preferring stone to flesh.

The lovesick Pygmalion prayed to Aphrodite, the goddess of love, to bring his statue to life. And, after receiving many gifts from Pygmalion, Aphrodite granted the sculptor his wish. But isn’t that what a goddess of love supposed to do—make love happen?

Pygmalion named his new love Γαλάτεια (“Galatea” meaning “she who is milk-white”). The two married and had a couple of kids.

Moral: expect love and you’ll get it.

-30-

About Art for Housewives

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