I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but I see Valentine’s Day like Mother’s and Father’s Days. It is a divisive day. I’ve come to dislike these days because it segregates the have nots from the haves.
We don’t love our mothers and fathers one day a year, so why do we pledge our love one day a year to our spouse or friend?
It is a commercial bonanza, which is good for our economies, but such traditions do little to enhance relationship. It is good for families and partners to get together but only if it doesn’t cause divisive conflict. Of course, the only issue is the expectation of our partner. In many cases it’s wise to acquiesce. How many more arguments, and even breakups, occur because of Valentine’s Days that were not done ‘right’?
There is so much social division in our world that is covert in nature. Racism is both overt and covert, and there are all sorts of other vagaries of discrimination. But we hardly imagine how days like Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s and Father’s Days, segregate subtly. There are always those who miss out. There are the singles, many of whom would trade almost anything to be in the sort of relationship that celebrated Valentine’s Day. But there are also those who are in relationships closer to death than romance. There are also those who simply cannot afford to do what they would like to do for their partner. And social media has only made it worse, because there are always positive posts that remind other people of what they don’t have.
Pledge a public love for one day in 365 or pledge a private love for 365? What is love about when it needs to be promoted for others’ approval? Don’t worry, I’ve done it so much in previous years, so I’m a hypocrite. But no more.
Darling, if you ever read this, I pledge to continue to learn and know how to love you. Thank you for forgiving me when I get it wrong. God, help me to love not only my wife, my children, my parents, but everyone, better 365 days per year.
A word on expectations. Often, they’re so subtle. And they always seem based on what we see as fair. But the reality is our expectations are nearly always unfair, because unchecked they reveal our selfishness. People can only disappoint us.