“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illumines it.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.
(1929-1968); Minister, Civil Rights Activist
I am not one of those people that despise Cupid’s holiday. I support any and every excuse to confess and express love. However, I do detest the impact its commercialization has on participants and inactive observers alike. As a member of the latter category—and as a woman—I cannot help but believe the newspaper ads, TV and radio commercials, billboards and internet when their messages convey that I should have an enormous bouquet of flowers and box of chocolates awaiting me at my desk. I hardly care for chocolate and flowers—destined to wither—have never appealed to me. Yet at this time of year, I coincidentally find myself craving the robust flavors of melting candies and the aroma of a dozen red roses as I click away at my keyboard.
Do heart shaped boxes and vases of long-stemmed flowers satisfy the universal need for love? Compared to my daily experiences with proven unconditional love, the gesture seems quite empty and senseless.
A valentine is “what you call the boy/girl you’re temporarily ‘dating’ for Valentine's Day,” according to the increasingly popular urbandictionary.com. The Web site, best known for its comical content, provides a sadly accurate depiction of the word. For some reason, society leads us to believe that our worth is displayed through inanimate objects while the commercial world capitalizes on this notion. I don’t aspire for temporary meaningless interactions with others and if Valentine’s Day gifts are representations of that, I am better off without them. I don’t want to be temporarily pacified. Like the rest of mankind, I desire lasting devotion.
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