Years ago, it was teens and people in their 20s who wore their heart on their sleeve and celebrated Valentine’s Day in public view. Maybe those in their 30s too.
But things changed gradually. The age bar extended both ways, to pre-teens and younger ones at the lower end and to people in their 40s, 50s and more at the upper end.
For the great lot of promise that the day holds, we look forward in anticipation to celebrating this one day of the year with our soul mate. Sometimes it lives up to our expectations, other times, the day falls prey to broken promises and déjà vu and we let another Valentine’ Day slide past with bitterness, disappointment or sadness.
So, on this Valentine’s Day of 2012, we shall talk about something different, something deeper than what to wear on a romantic Valentine’s Day dinner, although that’s very important to the specific purpose of having a special time with your loved one. But today, we talk of what it can mean to you and in the process, how you can give more meaning to yourself and the world around you.
To begin with, each day is a day of celebration. In our family, we seek occasions to celebrate a day. It doesn’t matter if it is a birthday, a wedding anniversary or a festival of first or second cousins – we would have included third cousins to the list if we knew any – aunts, uncles, the special days when any of these people met their partners for the first time, their days of celebration, friends’ parents’ birthdays or anniversaries or festivals, anything is grist for the mill. That’s our way of saying each day is good to live life to the full.
Among all these days of celebration, no day is worth smiling and preparing for more than Valentine’s Day. If you have any doubt, watch the movie Valentine’s Day. It has plenty of famous actors, some misunderstandings, cloaking of the nasty facts which eventually are uncloaked and in the end, love that transcends distance, disappointments and disillusionments.
But what struck me most was Julia Roberts coming all the way home from her Army Base where she is an Army Captain to be able to spend just a single day with her family. I expected, when I first saw the scene unfold, that there would be a spouse, fiancée or boyfriend waiting for her. But it was her young son. Her long, tiring trip was worth all that tiredness just to see the excitement in his sleepy face. That’s love that transcends distance and personal hardship.
Another story in the movie was about how a gay football player comes out in the open about his preference, thereby saving his relationship with the partner with whom he had broken up because he couldn’t be open about it. It teaches us about loving in the face of embarrassment and public view.
Another was of a grandfather who forgives his wife for her indiscretion decades ago. In the process, he helps a young man come to terms with his girlfriend’s activity. Forgiveness is what love is all about. It also teaches another important lesson of how small acts of love in our personal lives, impact others positively.
These are the lessons in brief which we want to share with you:
- Love beats everything in the race in finding your soul mate and keeping him or her happy. In fact, there never is a race when it comes to love.
- Love forgives. It may not forget, but it definitely has a heart large enough to forgive.
- Love makes you open and giving in your relationships. You no longer care for the smaller things in life. What matters is what is right and fair, to yourself and to others.
- Love teaches others through example.
Whether love is passionate, romantic, of a father, mother, daughter, son or friend, it is what opens your heart and lets you live your day with a smile.
When it comes to the image you project, it puts a ready smile on your face, your eyes are bright and full of life and you are a great person to be with. As we say in our profession of image management , smile and the world smiles with you. It is what positive First Impressions are about.
A smile makes you attractive, changes your mood, importantly, it is contagious; it lifts your face and makes you look younger.
So, smile, love and see how you light up other’s lives.
So whether Valentine’s Day really began with St. Valentine falling in love with the jailer’s blind daughter or whether it was in commemoration of his performing secret marriages when these were banned by the Roman emperor who believed that married men weakened the army, it doesn’t really matter.
All that matters is to love others, hold your head high and walk through life with a smile.
What matters is to give on this Valentine’s Day, your gift of love and a smile to your family, friends and the world without expecting anything in return.