"Always protects" is the next quality of love. It is another quality that is worded in different ways. "Always protects", "bears all things" and "never gives up" are some examples. A number of people seem to think it connotes covering up something -- as in hiding or burying.
So, is it:
* Putting up with the faullts of others?
* Covering up the faults of others?
(Not in the sense of abetting a crime or sin, but protecting reputations from unnecessary damage.)
* Carrying people's burdens, as in helping to solve problems, or easing their effects?
Maybe, it is a panorama of response to the trials and troubles of others. Especially trouble they bring on themselves because of inexperience, a character flaw, or some chronic condition created by mistakes the person made. The three responses I gave above are all responses to the failures of people. Given someone's failure\wrong doing, love seeks to limit the ripple effects that erupt from the person's actions. It minimizes the damage done to the person, and to anyone else involved. It is one way Jesus followers fulfill their role as peace makers.
Any individual Jesus follower may not have an impact on the global stage. But dampening discord in families, neighborhoods and churches will decrease the overall "noise level." And who knows who will notice.