~Hamilton Wright Mabie
That quotation was on a Christmas card that some friends sent our YAV house in Tucson. I wish it was also relevant to the season around Valentine's Day!
There's a commercial on the radio right now that goes something like this:
"Valentine's Day isn't about how much you love him. It's about how how much you both loves 'us'." I have no clue what they're trying to sell in that commercial, but it got me thinking about today. What if we spent today focused on our community, our families, and our friendships. The bigger "us" to which we all belong. What if, we took Valentine's day as a reminder of the love that bonds us all together. All the types of love that have come in and out of our lives- Phileo, Eros, Storge, Agape.
Two years ago tomorrow, a good friend of mine passed away. My heart gets tied up in knots when I think about it. I could take the anniversary of his passing as a reminder of all the sadness, confusion, and horror that exists and will continue to surround us in this walk of life. But, I am going to try and do my best to celebrate the beauty that comes out of it. I think its kind of fitting that I'll be having dinner with his mother tonight, the day everyone celebrates love. We'll have an opportunity to celebrate his love- the one he shared with the world, and the friendship we now share with each other.
Like the other holidays, this day too has been taken over by Hallmark. But unlike Christmas and Easter, that bring people and families together, I think Valentines day tends to separate people- those that have a date tonight from those that don't. And instead of promoting self-acceptance, belonging, and good friends, people get lost in who and what they don't have today. Instead of celebrating romance and candles, I'm going to take today to celebrate my friends.
In Guatemala, the 14th of Febraury is celebrated as "dia del amistad," "Day of friendship." I really like this approach to today. Everyone can celebrate their friends!
I think we should all celebrate the day of friendship! Focus more on what brings you closer to the people around you rather than what separates you. Invite an acquaintance into a conversation today. Ask someone "how are you," and really mean it.