Valentine's Day has the potential to be such a great holiday. It's a day dedicated to love — what could possibly be better than that?
But somehow, it has been twisted to focus almost solely upon physical and romantic love, when there's so much more to the word ‘love’ than just that.
Valentine’s Day shouldn't just be about going on a date or getting flowers and chocolate (or candy grams if you're in middle or high school).
An entire day dedicated to love should be focused on showing love to our neighbors. Our friends. Our family. Complete strangers. Even our enemies. Valentine's Day should be a day dedicated to showing love to everyone we encounter, expecting nothing in return.
Of course, among other things, it is important to celebrate on Valentine’s Day if you are in a relationship, but why shouldn’t you show your significant other that you love them every single day?
What about the employee taking your order at Starbucks? The bus driver? Your teacher, professor, coworker, or boss? The custodians and housekeepers in buildings we visit every day?
Does anyone ask them how they are doing? Does anyone remind these people that they are loved and appreciated?
The homeless person you see on the street corner, but pretend not to notice. The person you pass walking down the street, who don’t let outsiders see how bad or good their day might truly be, or what they might be struggling with that outsiders can’t see. What about the people that look or act differently from you? Yes, those people. The ones that you are sure you could never relate to or connect with because you know that you are too different from them.
These are the people that need to be shown love. And Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to show love to these people.
And why must treating others with love and kindness be limited to February 14th, and then disappear on February 15th? Why can't we treat every single day as if it is Valentine's Day?
Why can't we show love to our neighbors, and strangers, and enemies every day?
This could be a smile, an act of kindness, or simply asking "How are you?" or “What can I do to help you?”
Valentine's Day should be a day of selflessness - paying attention to others, and giving them the care, support, appreciation and love we all desire and deserve as human beings.
So, if you are reading this, I want to challenge you. Dedicate your Valentine’s Day to giving selfless (and sometimes seemingly undeserved) love to everyone in your life, from friends and family, to enemies and strangers. And let it be the start of a pattern. A lifestyle in which you show grace, mercy, and love to everyone, regardless of their past, their reputation, their struggles, or their actions, simply through acts of kindness and a positive attitude that, at least every once in a while, causes you to take note of the needs of others, no matter how different from yourself a person might seem. And by doing this, you could be a little flicker of the joy and positivity that this world desperately needs.
Just imagine how beautiful the world could be if we treat every day like this perfect picture of how Valentine's Day should be.