Love is more than Valentine’s Day

Buried under a research project, I suddenly realized it was Valentine’s Day, I had forgotten to get my girlfriend anything.

Patrick Barry, [email protected], senior anthropology major

Buried under a research project, I suddenly realized it was Valentine’s Day, I had forgotten to get my girlfriend anything.

Troublesome thoughts raced through my mind and my heart sank slowly into my stomach as I drove to the mall to try and find something that would prove I thought about her. I was one in a sea of desperate men with panic in their eyes. I felt like a zombie, just one more in a slow moving and mindless mob. I took several deep breathes and left with the obligatory box of chocolates. I remember thinking, “Girls like chocolates, right?”

I was at a loss for words that night. She was in tears when I left. Two years have gone by since that day but I will never forget it. I know many can relate to that story. I am glad that day happened because it has given me a new perspective on Valentine’s Day.

The truth is, Valentine’s Day is not important. Now, before anyone gets the pitchforks and torches ready, let me explain what I mean. Love deserves more than one day. If gift giving and a special day makes you feel good, then I encourage you to proceed as you wish. My intention is not to threaten the happiness of anyone. What I do intend to do is offer everyone a challenge. I ask you to take a moment this Valentine’s Day to change your perspective on love.

Love is service. It is communicated when someone listens or tells you how they think about you. It can be seen in the eyes of someone who cannot look at you without smiling. You know it when someone is there for you when you need it most. The ways to express love are as unique as each of the 7 billion people on earth.

Advertisements are everywhere and they always emphasize materialism as a way to show love. Diamonds, chocolates, roses and greeting cards are nice gifts, but love itself is a gift. I know anyone who has received it knows this is true.

I’m not simply trying to preach against consumerism. I don’t care if you choose to buy roses and chocolates this year. The real change of perspective I wish to share is that love is too important for one day. If you want to know if a person loves you look beyond Valentine’s Day and show the people you care about, that you love them every day.

There are many out there who feel alone, so I challenge you to think of what you can do to let everyone around you know love.