By Aparna Mele
“I learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
Valentine’s Day is a national holiday celebrated to show your loved ones how much you care about them, but why limit ourselves to expressing our love on one holiday? This calendar year, and in this age of tumultuousness and emotion, we should all dedicate ourselves to show our appreciation for our people every day. Valentine’s Day seems to suggest that love is based on a certain occasion when people are obligated to purchase gifts and prove their love. How wrong is that? If someone does not buy their loved one flowers or chocolates on February 14th — that does not indicate a loss or lack of love. There are many other ways of expressing your gratitude other than just buying gifts. Showing love and respect in the way you communicate verbally and physically, acting with fierce devotion, conveying kindness and empathy—these are the most valuable ways to highlight your affection. Instead of taking the extra initiative only on February 14, you should make the effort to implement caring gestures into your everyday routine. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to strictly encourage gift-giving as a way of expressing love. But instead, it can be like any regular day where you show your love through both your words and actions and you can direct them to anyone, even strangers! Remember that small gestures make a BIG impact!
Do one little act of kindness every day like buying a coffee for a stranger, holding a door open for someone, or helping someone with heavy bags. It only takes a few seconds to do so, but the other person will appreciate your gesture all beings – and it will probably put them in a much better mood!
Spread positive messages. So many conversations are based around nasty, mean gossip. Try switching to more positive dialogue on cyber media and in conversations, and they may then pay it forward, send it on to other people, and continue to spread more love and laughter.
Try being less judgmental and don’t hold grudges or feel resentment towards the people you think you dislike. Try wishing them well and keeping an open mind about their perspectives—you will hold less anger, feel more calmed inside, and show your best self to others.
Everyone likes to feel good about themselves. Try to give someone a genuine compliment every day to spread positive energy and good cheer.
Be polite and don’t forget the basics: Please, thank you, have a nice day. Manners may be less important in today’s world, but most people still appreciate being treated with respect. Simply saying “please” and “thank you” can make someone else feel appreciated and loved.
Volunteering is a great way to share love with the world. Share your skills with others, participate in a meaningful community project, and donate money, clothes, shoes, food or books to charities to share your wealth with others.
Ok we are all still social distancing but don’t let that stop you from hugging your close family and elbow bumping other friends and loved ones. Sometimes it is easier to show love and affection without using words. Symbolic or tangible, a hug (even pandemic style) is a wonderful way show your support.
Everything can require practice, even showing kindness. An ancient and easy mindfulness meditation technique called Loving-Kindness can help you remember how to spread the love by boosting empathy and feelings of connection with others. Loving-kindness refers to a state of unconditional kindness and compassion for all beings, a concept is found in many religions and cultures around the world; and the tradition spans a few thousand years! You simply start with thoughts about your own self, then expand your circles of compassion outward.
- You: Think about yourself. Direct your kindness to yourself with a phrase like, “May I be happy.”
- Someone really close: Think about someone you love. Direct your kindness to that person, “May you be happy.”
- Someone neutral: Think about someone you feel neutral about, like a coworker you don’t have any particular feeling about, one way or another. Direct your kindness to this person, “May you be happy.”
- Someone hostile: Think about someone you have a tough time being around or dislike. Direct your kindness to this person, “May you be happy.”
- Bundle: Think about all of these people together, and equally direct your kindness to all of them.
- Expand: Finally, direct your kindness everywhere, “May everywhere be happy.”
Spread love and joy and make the world a more loving place all year round. Remember that it only takes one small act to share feelings of love and kindness. Happy Valentine’s YEAR!