It’s that time of the year again. We’re nearing the most romantic day among the other 364. Almost every other couple celebrates it, but everywhere you look it just seems like the true spirit of love is lost among consumerist rituals and feelings of dependency and insecure ownership. What has happened to the true spirit of love? What is love? What is the true meaning of love? And where do we find it? Here, in this post, we look at exploring some of these questions.
Everyone knows the date Valentine’s Day falls on, but do you know why we celebrate it? As you might know, the day gets its name from a famous saint, St. Valentine of course, but there are several stories about who he was. The most popular story about St Valentine is that he was a priest from Rome in the third century AD. Around this time, Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage because he thought married men were bad soldiers. Valentine felt this was unfair, so he broke the rules and arranged marriages in secret. When Claudius found out, Valentine was thrown in jail and sentenced to death. There, he fell in love with the jailer’s daughter and when he was taken to be killed on 14 February he sent her a love letter signed “from your Valentine”.
Valentine’s Day has now become a universally recognized day for expressing and celebrating love, which is great, but we feel we can expand its scope a lot more. Instead of limiting the day just to romantic love, why not include universal love too? We’re not saying don’t make it a day about pleasing your partner, please do, but there are many others who could use some of your love too. Spread it out. There’s your family, your friends, acquaintances, animals and even nature who might really need it and would respond positively to your love and kindness. Wouldn’t that be nice? A day of universal love. A wise man once said when you spread love with others, it comes back to you 10 fold.
Here are a few good ways you can spread the love this Valentine’s Day:
1) Visit an old age home together:
This can be a very rewarding experience. The love that the elderly show towards helpful strangers is often unmatched. You can talk to them, hear their stories, tell them about you and have a wonderful time that’s mutually rewarding. Many of them feel abandoned. It would mean the world to many of them just having someone show interest in them. To go one step further and do something even kinder, give them a gift. What could be a better gift than something that would remind them of the outdoors? Terrariums and plant arrangements are perfect here.
2) Adopt an animal
Before I talk about this, please note that getting a pet is a long term commitment and all future planning and consideration must be done beforehand and only if you can take care of it, must you proceed. That being said, adopt, don’t shop. Visit an animal shelter, there will be no shortage of absolutely adorable animals looking for a new home. The best thing you can do is adopt an elderly abandoned animal. It’s hard to watch a pet you love age and die. However, this relationship will be truly rewarding. Even knowing that heartache could be right around the corner, most owners would do it again and again because the joy is just so much more. Plus, a nine-year-old dog may still have another four years left to live. Why not help make those years as comfortable and content as possible by giving him a lovely retirement home? Even if you don’t want to adopt, a visit to the animal shelter is rewarding by itself. Especially if you’re bearing gifts.
3) Don’t forget loving your family
Kindness begins at home. If there’s a day to be nice to all your loved ones together, why not it be this? Do extra chores, talk to them with love, do things together, do whatever it takes to make them happy. A little goes a long way. Even the smallest gesture puts the ball in motion and knowing that should be rewarding enough.
4) Help the poor
Twenty percent of the city’s population, or around 2.2 million people, live in slums. What better gesture of human love is there than facilitating a nice, warm meal for someone hungry? You can volunteer to feed the poor, you can cook for themselves or you can sponsor a meal. Help whichever way suits you best. Apart from that, you can collect old clothes from friends and family that they don’t need and distribute among them yourself or reach NGOs. Also blankets can be collected or purchased and distributed.
What a perfect situation to let go of old bitterness and hatred! Forgive and forget. Forgive not just your enemies, more importantly forgive yourself. Let the doors be open again. Former friends, family members, exes, you don’t have to talk to them or give them any kind of personal attention, just forgive them. Let there be no enmity.
The above are only a few examples as to what you can do this Valentine’s Day. There’s no dearth of opportunities to spread love. If we missed something you may have thought of, please do list them down in the comments section below.
Also note that YourGreenCanvas will be an active advocate for love this valentine’s day. We’re giving you a 15% discount on all our products and services all through the month of February in honor of the season of love. So spread the love. Remember, give love and love comes right back!