Saturday, February 09, 2013


Love wins! Musings on Valentine's Day

It used to be called St. Valentine’s Day, rooted in Christian history. Nowadays it has morphed into a commercial event for showing affection in general, not just for romantic wooing. We give flowers, cards, chocolates, hearts and cupids, a whole tossed salad of memes that say, “I like you. You’re special in my life.” Now we can say “Happy Valentine’s Day” to everyone we care about.

“Love makes the world go around.” What a picturesque way to recognize love as energy, the positive energy that holds not just personal relationships together but the very Universe itself. “You are my sunshine” is another poetic image of that same truth.

In some cultures, Valentine’s Day is banned altogether. They see it as a symbol of the West’s loose morals and preoccupation with sex. “Make love, not war” is viewed as hedonistic, not as the larger principle of benevolence over belligerence.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if, in addition to lip service on one official day, we would channel loving energy into every thought, every word, every act, every day of the year? How much healing and mending of conflicts, repairing of ruptures and restoring of peace could we bring about?

Love is the foremost example of a fusion of mind and heart. America will not win hearts and minds in countries it bombs. War is an illogical and self-defeating policy. Instead of an endless cycle of escalating enmities, what if we took the initiative to give love a chance. What if we set aside hawkish hype and declared non-violence as strength, not weakness? It takes real courage to resist the facile resort to force.

The greatest strength is love.

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