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  • Carroll Devine

La Vie en Rose Valentine

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” M. Ghandi

Ahh! Valentine’s Day! Schmaltzy, right? It’s for lovesick puppies and school kids. It’s for sugary cards and flowers– and disappointment for those who aren’t on the receiving end of them.

I say it’s time for a change.

We can still keep the cards and flowers and romantic love, but why not bring this special observation into the new age? Why not remove some of the commercialism and even corniness of the holiday and make it more real and inclusive?

In several countries, like Mexico, Valentine’s day is called the Day of Love and Friendship. In Colombia, September 19 marks the day for showing appreciation to wide circles of friends and family. (And although we don’t have to wait for any “special days” to express tender feelings, the special days do provide cover for some people who normally find it difficult to say “I care about you.”)

But why not use Valentine’s Day to promote cahootism within our local communities as well as across cultures?

Methinks there’s something afoot. Now, there’s even a Global Love Day on May 1 to celebrate humanity – a project of the nonprofit Love Foundation. (Hey, the flower children of the Sixties did have some things right.)

To take it one step further though: Why not choose Valentine’s Day to let someone into traffic in front of you or to do random acts of kindness, like paying the toll of somebody behind you? Why not do some volunteer work at a homeless shelter? Why not, without judging, really listen to someone who’s talking to you – even if, maybe especially if, he or she is of a different race, culture, creed, class, or opinion from you? Now that’s Love.

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