I’ve always disliked this holiday, February 14th…the so-called Day of Love.
When we’re kids…the elementary teachers are really careful that the amount of cards = kids so that everyone is ‘loved the same’ and no one is left out.
The rules change as we hit junior high/high school and we have a need to FIND a Valentine! That way EVERYONE will know that we are loved, valued and validated.
“Happy Validation Day is likely a more appropriate holiday name!”
Unfortunately, as a result, there are fake relationships, hurt feelings or kids that go home feeling very left out or ‘un-special’ (ask me how I know
Perhaps in young adulthood, as we’re dating more seriously…we worry — “have we been dating long enough for a big Valentine?” — “Is this too grand or not grand enough?” or even the “I’m not asking him/her out until after Valentine’s because I don’t want to be obligated for the holiday.”
ACK and UGH and ENOUGH already!
You know what I see the other 364 days of the year?
- Opportunities to shower other human beings with love.
- Opportunities for compassion.
- Opportunities to smile, connect and encourage.
- Opportunities to be KIND…yep, that has a ring to it — ‘ValenKIND Day!’
What if DAILY (or even just this ONE day a year…we looked for ways to be ValenKIND:
- Without strings
- Without expense
- Without conditional approval
- Without elaborate manufactured Pinterest-worthy over-the-top-ness designed just to compete with coworkers, neighbors, church members or who else might be watching to see ‘how much’ we are loved. (You DO know that folks send THEMselves flowers and candy to keep up appearances, right? True Story.)
What are we trying to prove? That our spouse, partner, boyfriend or girlfriend loves us ‘more’ than everyone else because of how they surprised us or what they spent?
I don’t know about you…but I’m soooo over that. I’m wayyyyyy more impressed by simple acts of human loving and kindness.
Way. More. Impressed.
This year, save your chocolates and flowers and Pinterest-inspired proposals…maybe you and your someone special (or just a really special someone) could…
- Find a single mom waiting tables and tip her big.
- Find a special needs child and be kind to them or their family. (without asking questions)
- Find a widow or widower and anonymously send them a sweet card or candy.
- Find someone struggling financially or physically and serve them, really serve them. (without judgment)
- Find a small business owner and buy from them without price-haggling.
- Find a military family and take them a dessert or meal to thank them for their sacrifice
- Find a pastor, preacher, teacher, rabbi or leader who serves for a living and spoil them a little.
- Find someone in recovery or struggling with addiction and encourage/support them. (without grandiose stories of success, just kindness for their struggle)
- Find someone with tall grass and mow it.
- Find someone with no gas and pump it.
- Find someone with groceries in bad weather and load them.
- Find someone without a smile and give them one of yours.
- Find someone lonely, get over your Valen-stress and encourage them instead.
Kindness is the most valuable currency we have. And it should be our most UNlimited resource. Agreed??
I want to challenge you…encourage you…ask of you and even implore you… don’t worry this week about finding a Valentine. Don’t stress with being spoiled by your ‘someone.’ Don’t over-think the cards and the candy and the commerce of it all.
Choose to celebrate ValenKind Day instead.
- But in a world where we’re quick to post our harsh opinion on blogs, Facebook pages, newsfeeds…
- In a world where we’re super fast to judge the addict, homeless, jobless, broke or hurting…
- In a world where we’re quick to crucify every business we don’t agree with politically, every politician we don’t agree with theologically and every person that makes a mistake in the public eye…
- In a world where we’re all so quick to be UNkind (some say opinionated or values-based…but face it, mostly it’s unkind) — I think maybe the prescription for this week is less chocolate, less roses, less ribbons and more ValenKINDs.
Meh. Dunno…it’s just a crazy idea. But I’d love if you’d share this post and think of more ways to be ValenKIND!