The second week in February … and one event looms large. There are heart shaped boxes everywhere, chocolate roses in every single store, florist trucks clogging up the road, pink and red envelopes being delivered by mail carriers…what an outpouring of love we will all see this week, leading up to Thursday, February 14th. It’s challenging to even type the date without adding a little heart after it…so ingrained it is in our culture to profess our love for all we hold dear on this one day in February.
And yet, it begs the question, why is it so ingrained? I know that there are those among us who call Valentine’s Day a “hallmark holiday”, one pushed upon the public to make money during the winter months. While I am not quite that cynical, I do wonder why the same flowers that cost one price online in January see a sharp spike in price in February and whether chocolate actually tastes better because it comes in a heart shaped box. But no, I am not so cynical that I refuse to celebrate…I helped Abigail with cards for her class, cards for her friends and even sent a pastel colored envelope of my own off in the mail. Of course I have a small gift for her to show her how much I love her on the morning of 2/14…but then again, I have tiny unexpected gifts for her every so often, just because I love her.
So do many of us, of this I have no doubt. For every time we do something unexpected and surprising for those we hold dear in our hearts, aren’t we in fact celebrating the concept of Valentine’s Day? Doesn’t each one of us, on a daily basis work to showcase that most important rule ~ that “golden rule” taught to us by Jesus himself. Matthew 7:12. “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you. I remember learning a childhood version of this maxim in elementary school “love one another as I have loved you. Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Never once in my life have I forgotten those words.
Now, that’s not to say it isn’t challenging. Of course it is. We get tired, we get frustrated, we don’t always treat people the way we want to be treated or speak to people the way we want to be spoken to. It’s a hard maxim to live by, day in and day out. But we try, each of us in our own way try daily to live up to that golden rule and to truly love one another, even if it is harder on some days than on others.
And so, my readers, that is why I cannot be cynical about Valentine’s Day in all its pink and red, hallmark holiday, sentimental hoopla. Because, on 2/14 of each year, I can say with some assurance that almost every one of us will spend the day treating those we love the way we want to be treated, and showing them how much we love them. Should we do this more often, not just on 2/14? Of course we should. However, if love is what makes the world go round and love is what can make the world a better place, then Valentine’s Day is as good a day as any to start showing our family and friends just how much they mean to us.
Love can change the world. Remember that, always! Happy Valentine’s Day!