Make love the apple of your eye

February 14, 2018

Anyone who recalls this time of year from their childhood likely reminisces about the required Valentine’s Day cards they made for their classmates. After mastering the art of the paper heart, hastily writing compliments and sprinkling glitter, a valentine was born. The mantra was simple: spread the love.

Yet as students grow and mature, particularly at St. Paul Academy and Summit School, the wonder and adoration of Valentine’s Day increasingly dims. What is left is a ill-formed ideology for Feb. 14 as being a day designated for couples and romance: not students. This sentiment produces a bleak cycle of disregarding the holiday as something that does not apply to anyone who is not in a partnership.

Students must make strides in understanding the beneficiality of declaring love to those people they cherish most. These people could be anyone: parents, siblings, friends, or peers. Love does not have to be intertwined with romantic relationships, and it does not have to be reserved. Just as saying hello can improve health, likewise, the chemicals and neurotransmitters released when declaring love increase sensations in the mind. It takes so little effort to pause and give a meaningful message that details gratitude.

Love does not have to be intertwined with romantic relationships”

Roses, jewelry, and boxes of chocolates are all wonderful, but they do not have to be designated for couples. Popular advertisements often convey Feb. 14 as a day overwhelmed with intimacy. From clothing brands to perfume, the branding of Valentine’s Day continually becomes skewed with kissing actors and fake loving relationships. These messages omit that most connections people have are not romantic. This year, avoid the unrealistic expectations of this holiday and make it for those people who deserve recognition.

Just as romance does not have to be at the forefront of Valentine’s Day, neither does it have to rely on someone else. Self-love is love. Celebrating can be as simple as reading one’s favorite book, exercising, or spending time doing something enjoyable. Whatever form of love, it does not have to be refuted or restricted by the hallmark definitions of Feb. 14 that punctuate mainstream media companies.

Whoever and wherever love will go this Valentine’s Day is unknown, but one thing is certain: it does not have to be romantic. Embrace the importance of self-care, remind others their purpose and do not take love as simply a byproduct of family. Build love, and inspire others by announcing it today and every day.

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