So, Valentines Day is quickly approaching.
(Cue groans and/or anticipatory sighs)
This time of the year is always interesting to me as I watch my friends divide into two fairly distinct groups; those in relationships or dating, who enthusiastically exchange Valentines and look forward to their yearly day of romantic bliss, and those who dread the day, some even wearing black as a protest of sorts. Of course I am exaggerating, not everyone falls neatly into those two categories; but this description has a degree of truth and I am willing to bet it strikes a familiar chord with most people, especially those in high school and college.
Critics of Valentines Day very aptly scoff at the notion of a single day where one should profess their love o those around them, arguing that if a love is true then a couple should not need a specific day to profess it. While I agree with the notion that we should constantly be open and generous with our expressions of love and appreciation for the important people in our lives, I can also see the merit in a special day devoted simply to expressing this affection. My issue with Valentines Day is how narrow that focus of affection is; love does not only exist within couples and often, Valentines Day marketing and celebrations seem to forget this. Lets change that.
As always, I don’t want to change society; just ourselves. I propose we use Valentines Day as an opportunity to make up for those we so often overlook in terms of appreciation.
Remember kindergarten when you were required to buy a card for everyone in the class? Let’s go back to that mentality. Challenge yourself this Valentines Day to find ways to express your appreciation for all of the friends, teachers, family members, acquaintances, kind strangers and so on in your life… it doesn’t have to be anything major a simple letter or card, a hug, a compliment… almost anything will do so long as you do SOMETHING.
I guarantee once the focus is shifted from your lack of a significant other, or what your significant other is getting you; and focused, instead, on showing all of the people you love how much you care about ALL of them you will feel more in the spirit. In fact, you may just start to celebrate Valentines Day, every day! After all, what could be better than a holiday that reminds you of all the wonderful people in your life, and allows you to feel good by making others feel good?
Plus, there are usually pink cupcakes and no one can eat a cupcake and still be bitter, no one.