Valentine’s Day

“The greatest thing we can do is to let people know they are loved.” – Fred Rogers

The other day I read a Facebook friend’s post about how much he “hates Valentine’s Day.” He argues that it puts pressure on people in relationships to create the perfect romantic experience, while it draws into focus the loneliness of people who are single and what they don’t have. Get rid of it entirely, he said. It’s commercial and only benefits Hallmark, restaurants and florists. And based on the comments to his post, he’s not alone in this stance.

But I disagree. Valentine’s Day is actually among my favorite holidays – and it has nothing to do with my relationship status. Valentine’s Day celebrates love. But who says it has to be romantic love?

Saint Thomas Aquinas defines love as “the choice to will the good of another.” So love belongs to everyone. Any chance to think about all the people for which I am willing their good and let them know they are loved…yeah, that’s my kind of holiday.

Also, for the past few Valentine’s Days, I’ve gone through all of my photos of natural heart sightings that I’ve experienced since the previous year and make a collage of my favorites. (This year’s is above.) And each year I am overwhelmed by the number of random “love notes” I’ve been given. Life is constantly telling us just how loved we are.

Flowers and chocolates aren’t required. Candlelight dinners aren’t necessary. For the best Valentine’s Day, we can just gift love — good will, prayers, support, best wishes. And receive love – with gratitude and the realization that we’re never alone.

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