Friday, February 14, 2014

Love Commercialized

Happy Valentine's Day?

For years, I've wondered why we need a special day to tell the people in our lives that we love them.  Why do we feel obligated to buy chocolates and candy and flowers and jewelry and cards with hearts on this day?  Maybe if I share some numbers with you, you'll see why I have titled this post - Love Commercialized.

Let's start with the overall amount spent last year.  How does more than $18 billion strike you?  Yes, billion with a B.  Ready for a breakdown of those billions?  According to CNN, in 2013, Americans spent nearly $2 billion on flowers and $2 billion on candy and almost $4.5 billion on jewelry.  The rest comes in cards, dinners, hotels, and such.

Now, I really have to ask.  Why do we do it?  Is that love?  Are we really expressing love?  And... why do we do it all in a single day?

Last night, I made four dozen cupcakes so that both my kids could take some in for their class parties.  Now that I've admitted my indulgence with this holiday, I'm going to tell you why I did it.  The answer isn't simply, "Because they're my kids."  The answer is because, when I was a kid, my mom did it for me every year.  I never asked her to do it and I never expected it, but every year she did it.  I realize now that, even though my mom had trouble saying the words, "I love you," that she did love me and this was one of the few ways that she showed it.  That is why I do it for my kids (and for myself).  It keeps my mom's love flowing.

I've just given you two different sides to love - the monetary breakdown of Valentine's Day and a personal story of an expression of love.  How did each one make you feel?

Practice Engaging Your Inner Wisdom
Using the story I just told about my mom, think about the less obvious ways that the people in your life show you that they love you; share one of those stories with us in a comment on this post.

What subtle ways do you show love to your friends and family or kindness to people you don't know?  What about animals?  Share one of those stories with us in a comment on this post.

Finally, a friend and I manage a page on Facebook called When We Are Kind, on which we post only positive things, people doing nice things for each other or for animals and even animals helping people or other animals.  If you have a Facebook account, like the page so you can receive some positive loving stories in your day.

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