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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Share the Love

Oh, joy. It's Valentine's Day again. A day to spend a small fortune on the obligatory jewelry, fancy dinner, roses and/or chocolates. A day of compulsory romance and $5 greeting cards with sappy verses.

I hate this day. It is so artificial, so contrived. Shouldn't those we love receive our expressions of love every day? Wouldn't a dozen roses mean a lot more if they were a surprise, presented for no reason other than to say "I love you"?

"It's the smallest things, the tiniest measures.. 
The heart remembers, and always treasures." 

I don't know the author of this quote, but I think it is wonderful. This artificial holiday isn't about flowers and candy and what we buy for people. It is the little things in life that make it special. The point of this day, as contrived as it is, is love. We cannot put a price on love; it is priceless. And it has the greatest value when it is shared.

So today, tell your loved ones (two- or four-footed) you love them. Spend time with them. Give them a hug. Do something special with or for them. And while you're at it, how about sharing your love with those who really need it -- those in nursing homes who may not have family nearby; animals waiting, alone, in animal shelters for a family to love them. Donate some time at a food pantry, soup kitchen, animal shelter or pre-school. I would much rather have the $80 (average cost for a dozen roses this Valentine's Day) donated to a struggling charity than wasted on flowers that will be in the trash in a few days. So today, I paid for a cup of coffee or tea from Greenbeans Coffee ( to be provided free to 10 members of our armed forces serving overseas. It's a small way to brighten the day of someone serving far from home.

Love is like the proverbial candle under a basket; it has so much more impact when it is uncovered and shared.