By Mira Khatib
Why would anyone be against a day for celebrating love, and a woman at that? Well before you jump the gun, hear me out.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that love is worth celebrating, and I am not against exchanging gifts and romantic settings among other things, however I refuse to be told when to celebrate my feelings and how and with whom. Putting religion aside, the story behind Valentine is one about defying odds and standing up for certain beliefs, and for those whom decided to honor this memory then so be it.
But many celebrate it without knowing why, and to take it and turn it into something commercial and competitive is something that I think St. Valentine himself won’t approve of. Many women feel pressured and stressed out not only to find the perfect gift for this day, but also hopes that her partner would come up with a genuine and exquisite way to celebrate so she can boast about it to her friends, how dull would a single rose sound in comparison to a trip to Paris for example? As if this day and how it is spent is a true measure of love and respect, is it?
Personally I want to be able to celebrate love every day or any day I choose for that matter, and towards those who mean the world to me. Not just on the 14th of February and not only with my man. Love is as diverse as people and expressing it is a personal preference. The love for God, country, parents, siblings, children, friends and spouse should always be reflected in our actions, it is the daily little things that matter the most.
A peaceful prayer to a higher power, picking up an empty can on the street, an appreciated look from a proud father, a good laugh with sisters, play time with your little ones, a thank you note to a friend and pulling the covers over your partner when they fall asleep are all gestures of love that do not cost a thing yet are so much more valuable.
I know that some do not have the luxury of feeling appreciated from their partners or loved ones, and they await Valentine to get that rose or dinner to feel recognized, in this case the issue is much more complicated and needs to be addressed and sorted out, as no one deserves to be ignored all year through and think that one day would make up for all the neglect.
As for me, forgive me if I am not following the swarm and feel obliged to wear red and share chocolates and flowers on this day, as my celebration of love is not in a certain color or a chocolate bar but it is an ongoing process of kind words and loving gestures. And for all those aching hearts out there may you find love, peace and happiness all days of the year. And for those that celebrate Valentine I say don’t lose sight of what you are celebrating.
Wishing all readers lots of love and appreciation, always.