If you’ve ever watched a cheesy rom-com that happens to feature Valentine’s Day, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the entire world wears red on 14 February, is inundated with chocolate and flower deliveries, and generally gets swept up in the romance of the occasion. Even if the protagonist is a Valentine’s naysayer at the start of the movie, it’s a safe bet they’ll be a convert by the end.
But is this an accurate reflection of the real world? That would be a very big NO.
Here’s what you need to know about Valentine’s Day. First, it has a pretty dark and twisted history. Some historians claim it came about thanks to at least one unfortunate man named Valentine, who was executed many centuries ago for either refusing to change religions, or for performing illegal weddings (there are a few conflicting versions). Others say it’s a modern take on the ancient Roman celebration of fertility, during which men and women were coupled up by drawing names out of a jar. Going one step further than something you might see on Married At First Sight, the men would whip the women with the hides of animals they’d just slaughtered. It just keeps getting better, right?
The second point worth noting about Valentine’s Day is that some people don’t gel with the event at all. Maybe it’s not part of their culture, or they don’t understand it. Meanwhile, some people grasp the concept, but refuse to buy into the commercialisation.
Then you’ve got the people who love it. They’re the ones who are no doubt already gearing up for a romantic dinner or movie date tonight. And heaven help the partner who forgets to pick up a dozen roses on their way home from work. (Note to self: Call the florist now.)
For some, this is a sad and lonely day, because they’ve lost the person they love or wish they had someone to love. For others, it’s an opportunity to celebrate with family and friends. Parents give their children love letters or bake heart-shaped cookies, while teachers set up boxes in classrooms for anonymous cards to be distributed.
When you look at it this way, Valentine’s Day is a pretty fitting metaphor for love. It’s a bit of everything. It’s messy, complex, beautiful and a necessary part of the human condition. Whatever you believe and wherever you are, we’re sending some love your way today. Because regardless of the date on our calendars, we can all benefit from a little more love in our lives.
– The Coach Place Global
Image by @mnelson
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