Valentine’s Day. In Tina’s famous words, what’s love got to do with it? It’s possible we’ve all asked this question at some point when we see the onslaught of glitzy merchandising that distracts us from the true meaning of this day. The ubiquitous red heart symbol that litters store shelves, the jewelry ads with the happy couple, the perfect dinner reservation that is impossible to secure — there is nothing subliminal about commercial forces preying on our desire to please our partner on this day.
But I know that I’m not alone in thinking that this is not what love is. Here are some words by those far more eloquent than I on the subject:
Love has no desire but to fulfill itself. To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night. To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving. ~Kahlil Gibran
Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place. ~Zora Neale Hurston
My blogging buddy Arvind Devalia asked me a couple of questions recently: what’s your ideal Valentine Day and how can people bring more love into their lives everyday? Below are my reflections:
On a personal scale, my ideal Valentine’s Day is very simple. It is one spent enjoying the company of my family, appreciating the good lives that we have, and teaching my four year old son about love. Through dialogue and example, I hope to show him that love starts from within and can be shared not just with family and friends but also with strangers by showing them kindness and compassion.
On a larger scale, I would love to see Valentine’s Day become less about the one day of fine dining and expensive gifts or the limited notion of romance between two people but rather a day that symbolizes how we all need love and can lift each other up by being inclusive about giving and receiving love.
We can bring more love into our lives by loving oneself as well as others through acts of kindness, compassion, generosity, forgiveness and acceptance.
Valentine’s Day? May yours be about love.
Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day?
Image of St. Valentine courtesy of Wikipedia