It’s Valentine’s Day!
It’s Valentine’s Day – a day for expressions of love that goes back to the Middle Ages. Handwritten cards did not appear until after 1400; the oldest valentine in existence was one written by Charles, Duke of Orleans in 1415 to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London. Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia. It gained popularity in the 17th Century and in the middle of the 18th it was common for notes and small tokens of affection to be exchanged. Printed cards became popular in the 1900s when printing techniques improved and offered a better way to express love in an era when outward displays of emotion were discouraged.
Today is traditionally a day for lovers but what about those who are without a significant other in their lives? How do those who are single and not in a love-relationship feel on this day of love? A young friend of mine explored her own feelings and has expressed them in her blog today. Please read it at notthesinger.wordpress.com. Rhianna discovers the day is not just for lovers; instead she is celebrating her friendships. But maybe it could be a day to show our love for anyone we love or care for. That could be a friend, family member, co-worker, a neighbour.
I liked Rhianna’s sentiment so much, it made me think about what would happen if today we all did something for someone we didn’t love, someone we didn’t even know. What if we each performed a “random act of kindness“. Like buying coffee for the driver in the car behind us in the drive through. I did it once and it felt great; maybe it changed how his day was going. It doesn’t need to be anything big. We might just smile at every stranger we encounter today. It won’t cost anything and it’s good for our facial muscles.
With enough of these small acts maybe we might change the focus of Valentine’s Day to a day of love of our fellow-men and fellow-women. Maybe we could change the world! It’s does sound Pollyanna-ish but we are all playing in the same sandbox called Earth, and at some point we need to learn to get along. How many times have we heard suggested that it only takes One? That One could be you or me.
Whatever your plans for today, I wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day with those you love and those you are yet to love.
© Wendie Donabie 2012