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Tag Archives: Valuing Others

Happy Valentine’s day, whatever that means to you!

tell those you love that you love them!It’s Valentine’s day.

Not sure what that means in your house – refusing to give in to commercial hogwash in our house.

Celebrating love in February dates very far back indeed. In ancient Rome, mid February saw the celebration of a pagan fertility festival. Two different Christian martyrs, both called Valentine, died less than 100 years apart, both in February. And then in around 496 AD, the then Pope, Pope Gelasius, declared 14 February to be Valentine’s Day, to Christianise the pagan festival, and we have never looked back.

Valentine’s greetings were popular back in the Middle Ages, and written Valentine’s messages have been around since 1400.  Who says romance is a modern invention?

Shakespeare got in on the act of course – in 1601, Ophelia laments to Hamlet:

To-morrow is Saint Valentine’s day,

All in the morning betime,

And I a maid at your window,

To be your Valentine.”

Saccharine sweetness took over the festival at the turn of the 20th century, with mass produced Valentine’s cards, and a commercial focus designed to make us spend money.

For many, it is an awful day, one to be endured. Having idealised, loved-up romance shoved in your face – along with exorbitantly priced roses and chocolates – can be acutely painful for anyone who is not enjoying a close connected relationship with a significant other. I don’t just mean those who are single – but also those in relationships that are difficult, lonely, fraught, or just plain complacent.

But all of us have people in our lives whom we love.

People who bring richness, depth, shared experiences, fun, empathy.

Affirming and being thankful for the love that we do enjoy between friends, or with family members, can be one way to take a different approach to Valentine’s day. It does not solve the problem for those for whom the day is particularly painful.

But taking time to pay attention to those in your life that you love, and thanking them for who they are and what they mean to you – well, this is something we can all do.

Without the expensive roses.

Happy Valentine’s day!

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