Keeping one's eye on a four-year-old at the beach, concentrating on an interminable disjointed story told by a six-year-old, teaching an adolescent how to drive, truly listening to the tale of your spouse's day at the office or laundromat, and understanding his or her problems from the inside, attempting to be as consistently patient and bracketing as much as possible--all these are tasks that are often boring, frequently inconvenient and always energy-draining; they mean work. If we were lazier we would not do them at all. If we were less lazy we would do them more often or better. Since love is work, the essence of nonlove is laziness.
M Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled