“How do I greet every person I meet? In silence and to myself I say ‘I love you.’ Though spoken in silence, these words unwrinkle my brow, shine through my eyes, bring a smile to my face and echo in my voice.” ~ Mandino
Although marketers have simplified this holiday by only recognizing romantic love, the day could be so much more. Imagine if it wasn’t just couples celebrating their love with a box of chocolates, wrapped flowers, or satin red boxers. Imagine instead if we expanded the celebration to include providing real love in every relationship in our life. Imagine people holding doors for one another, looking others in the eye, greeting everyone with genuine smiles, putting other’s needs ahead of their own. Imagine continuously seeking opportunities to put others first and imagine how this could influence our impact as a parent or child, as an employee or boss, as a neighbor or total stranger.
My friends, in a society where less than 15% of employees report being actively engaged at work; 50% of marriages fail; 61% of adults describe themselves as not very happy; and the news continuously broadcasts stories of shootings and fiscal cliffs and global tension – it is easy to feel down. Cupid certainly doesn’t seem very close. But never has there been a better time for us to shine light into the darkness, to bring encouragement with the hopeless. Never has there been a better time to work together to spark an epidemic of love in those around us than today.
So where does the love epidemic begin?
Start by greeting everyone you meet today with a silent “I love you.” Start by approaching every person you encounter with love—and nothing else. Start by letting go of personal judgment, insecurity, and impatience.
And then take action! Write a note of appreciation to a coworker or friend; do a small chore for a neighbor like brining in their trash cans or shoveling their snow; slow down long enough to listen when a lonely person strikes up a conversation with you in the checkout line; pay for the coffee of the individual behind you. Start small. But start!
Your great opportunity today, and every day, is to spark an epidemic of love. My friends, happy Valentine’s Day, thank for being part of our community and I love you!
PS: Share with me online through email or Facebook one example of where you’ve experienced love in action recently. Could be something you did for others or they did for you, please let me celebrate this step towards our “love epidemic” with you!
We are releasing our first faith-based DVD program titled Be The Light later this month! This program can be viewed independently or with a small group. We’ll be including a free Audio CD and a free online workbook that will help make this program more personal: molding the content to fit your life, your experience and ultimately how you can Be The Light.
We’re also releasing a new DVD called The Power of One. It will remind you not only that one person can change the world, but of the truth that, that one person is YOU! We look forward to sharing more about it with you later this month!
Benjamin F. Edwards
Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education
National Systems Contractors Associations
Rockwood School District
The Continued Fight, Boot Camp
Tinker Federal Credit Union
Vistage International (Kansas City, KS)
Vistage International (Los Angeles, CA)
Young Presidents Organization