The dreaded Valentines Day. February 14th looms like a dark shadow on many a calendar. What am I talking about you ask? It’s the day of love! It’s traditionally viewed as a day of hearts and chocolates and fancy dinners with your sweetie. It’s the day many women expect to be showered with gifts of jewels and bouquets of roses while being romanced. Oh what a lovely image…..for her! What about the poor guys? The men in these women’s lives who get to sweat over card choices and overpriced flowers, debating the merits of each bouquet whilst not even having a clue what the individual flowers are.
Are we having fun yet? What about all the single people? What a great day for them! Let’s have a day that reminds them of just how single they are. Oh yeah, fun times. Hey let’s face it, not every couple loves the day either. I personally can’t stand the commercialism of it. Why you may ask? I don’t like Valentines Day not because I am not romantic or don’t like presents. I don’t like the day because it is so false, and it is a day, which gives a handful of people with an already closed heart, the means to justify being unromantic, unkind, ungenerous or inconsiderate the rest of the year. Things are nice. Everyone likes nice things. Jewels that sparkle, sweet chocolates and beautiful flowers are always a joy to behold, but what if, just IMAGINE that those things didn’t exist? Then what? How do you show your love for another without having stuff?
So what do I mean by using Valentines Day to your advantage if I hate it so much? What I mean is to take all the best parts of the day, like kindness, thoughtfulness, compassion, and acts of love, and make an effort to practice them all year long. This works whether you are single, or a couple- married or not. Treating people with kindness, compassion and understanding can be done very simply without any elaborate costs. Simple acts that show you care, are the easiest way to make another person feel appreciated and loved. Maybe it’s making the morning coffee, washing dishes, walking the dog, letting someone sleep in. At the office you don’t have to love your co-workers, but how about practicing compassion and tolerance? I know that it is not always easy, and goodness knows some people can push your buttons and make you want to scream! I get that, believe me I do. Even if all you can manage is to walk away instead of yelling at your annoying co-worker, then that is a great start. If you are single, you can practice with family, friends, and co-workers. You can practice on strangers, and maybe, meet someone special along the way too.
What about strangers? Absolutely. Some examples: The person standing behind you in line at the grocery store who has 1-2 items and you have 20, let them go ahead of you. The homeless man you see on the street. I know, you don’t like to give money to “them” – How about buying that person a hot coffee on a cold day. The tired parent who comes onto the bus carrying bags and ushering their small child forward. Hey that kid can walk, all bets are off on getting a seat for them right? If you are physically able to, how about offering that exhausted parent your seat instead? Another option is to volunteer at an organization that needs help. Whether it is for a clause close to your heart, or to help out a local group.
Valentines Day is symbolized by a heart. Why not open yours and rediscover all that you have to offer others, and maybe by doing so, you will find all that positive energy brings good things back to you.
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