Happy February everyone!
I know February is a polarizing month – most people either love it or hate it. I’ve always fallen into the love-it camp. Sure, I might be a bit biased (between my family and friends, there are about 10 birthdays to celebrate in February, and who doesn’t love birthday cake?), but even putting birthdays aside, I still enjoy the month with all of its Valentines accessories. You know what I’m referring to. The chocolates, the balloons, the red roses… so many classic symbols of the holiday designated for the celebration of love. You see it spilling over in the aisles of grocery stores everywhere you go, and come February 14th, the world will be covered in red and pink hearts, toting white teddy bears, and popping bottles of champagne.
However, as the holiday rolls around this year, I want to challenge you to considering doing something a little different. What if, instead of giving your sweetheart the classic bouquet of a dozen red roses, you two picked out flowers to take to a senior at the nursing home who is grieving for their late spouse? What if instead of buying an expensive box of chocolates, you treated that single mom in your office to a nice dinner with her kids to get to know more about her life? What if instead of hunting for the perfectly scripted Valentine’s Day card, you wrote a letter to express how you actually care for and appreciate the person to whom you are writing? What if we treated Valentine’s Day as a day to show our love to others, not just to our spouse or significant other? I think I’m stating the obvious when I say that Valentine’s Day has become so polarized because it’s a holiday that’s easy to celebrate when we have someone to celebrate it with, and it’s easy to hate when we find ourselves alone. But perhaps if we didn’t confine the holiday to the celebration of romantic love – if it could be a time to celebrate the love between friends, family, and humanity as a whole – maybe we could find a little more joy in the holiday regardless of our relationship status. So this week when you pass by the flowers at the supermarket, I hope that you will not only see the red roses of love and passion, but also the yellow roses of friendship, the white roses of sympathy, and the pink roses of gratitude and remember that love comes in many forms.