What movement can we spark this Valentine’s Day?
“Immature love says, ‘I love you because I need you.’ Mature love says, ‘I love you because I love you.’” -Erich Fromm
With heated conversations around debt ceilings, Chinese balloons and the State of the Union occurring, we observe from our friends in DC plenty of angry finger pointing and boisterous yelling.
That anger and discontent is echoed by many of the citizens they’re supposed to serve. With 36% of Americans reporting that they are lonely, almost 50% of marriages failing and more than 60% of adults describing themselves as not very happy, it’s easy to feel down. Add unto that a war raging in Ukraine. And a catastrophic earthquake decimating parts of Turkey and the already war-torn Syria. And whispers of fiscal cliffs. And…and…and…
But into this swirl of chaos, little Cupid is set to return tomorrow armed with his arrows of love.
Although marketers have simplified Valentine’s Day by focusing solely on romantic love, the day could be so much more. What if it wasn’t just couples celebrating their love with a box of chocolates, wrapped flowers, or dinner dates, but a day that animated real, unconditional love in every relationship in our life?
My friends, for a moment put the paper down and imagine people holding doors for one another, looking others in the eye, greeting everyone with genuine smiles, putting others’ needs ahead of their own.
Briefly stop scrolling and imagine instead seeking opportunities to put others first, and how this could positively influence our impact as a parent or child, as an employee or boss, as a neighbor or total stranger.
For a day let’s stop living by our personal truths wondering how everything impacts our individual lives and instead be rooted in universal truth asking what more can we do in our individual lives for others?
There are certainly profound struggles we face individually and collectively. One path forward is to yell about it, cross our arms about it or simply give up on it.
Alternatively, another path reminds us that we love life and others because it’s a choice we make freely.
What a great day, then, to choose to be kind to others, to bring encouragement to the hopeless, to shine light into the darkness. What a perfect opportunity to be the embodiment of selfless love in a marketplace longing for it. What a perfect chance to let go of personal judgments, vain insecurities, and unremitting expectations of others.
And what better place to start this important work than with the reflection in the mirror.
Media will continue to sell ad space on news of doom and gloom. Politicians will stoke the fires of distrust, unease and anger. Marketers will promote the perfect flowers, jewelry or gifts.
But real love reminds us that success, meaning and peace will never be found in some talking head, elected official or wrapped box, but in recognizing the immeasurable gifts already received in life, and the selfless desire to share those gifts with others.
It’s easy to love someone who loves us and who we need. But unconditional love reminds us of the transformational gift of choosing to love others just because.
It may not sell chocolate. But it might just change the world.
And it will certainly change yours.
Today is your day. Show some love. And Live Inspired.