Love has no bounds. Valentine’s day has moved from an exclusive rendezvous between two lovers to a universal meaningful expression of caring between any two people, and as a futurist, I see this morphing into a global affection day within a decade.
Throughout the history of language, words have taken on new and expanded meanings; Valentine’s Day is no exception.
It’s a relationship of caring between two people in love, husband and wife, mother and son, father and daughter, mother daughter, brother sister, brothers, sisters, friends, uncles, aunties, Grandpa and Gramma, friends, and anyone you care about.
Please feel free to say happy Valentine’s Day to your sister, mother, brother, daughter, dad, uncle or a friend. It is a much bigger word now than it started out to be. Take them out for dinner and send them flowers and let them know that you care if you are the only one for them at this point in life.
As Americans express it by presenting red roses to our loved ones, the Filipinos will break another record; the number of people kissing at the same time, Brazil will have another essential festival on her beaches celebrating love. You are welcome to share other such expressions. On the other side of the world, a few frustrated ones with life go to the other end. I am embarrassed to report, it is a day of harassment in India, the Romeo squads
If you miss the love in your life; you have an opportunity to fulfill it. There is plenty of love in you that you can give it to others by feeding the homeless, visiting lonely patients in the hospitals or nursing homes, disadvantaged women and children, our veterans… share whatever little you have with them including the time and just listening to them. When a homeless person asks, give whatever you can, that is the most affectionate thing to do, you will enrich yourselves far greater by sharing.
Whenever the word affection comes to mind, I picture my dad and recall the way he called out my Mother’s name Khairun, it was romantic and filled with tenderness, and I have always enjoyed the sound of it, it was soothing to hear.
On this day, besides enjoying each other’s company, I would suggest you know the loved ones. Learn about each other’s take on issues of life and learn to respect the difference. There is nothing more peaceful than knowing yourselves and knowing about your loved ones. You don’t need to compare with anyone on the earth, and there is none like you, you are one in 7 billion; you have your unique thumbprint, eye print, DNA, taste bud, colors, foods, smells, sights… by God, you are your model!
Conflicts begin when you want the others to change for you, drop that idea. When you learn to respect the otherness of the other and accept the God given the uniqueness of each other, conflicts fade, and harmony emerges. When you recognize the uniqueness of each other, right love flourishes and brings eternal peace to you.
My expressions would be incomplete without honoring the poet of love, Mirza Ghalib, one of the greatest romantic poets of all time who composed his poetry in Urdu/Hindi and Farsi.
Ishk per zor Nahin, hai an o aatish Ghalib
Ke lagaye na lege, bujhaye no bujhe.
Affection is that flame O Ghalib,
you cannot light it up or extinguish it, it just happens.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
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Dr. Mike Ghouse is committed to building a cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. His new book, the “American Muslim Agenda” is about everything you wanted to know about Muslims. The book is available at Xlibris and Amazon. Mike is a public speaker, author, interfaith wedding officiant, and the executive director of the Center for Pluralism in Washington, DC. More about him at https://www.linkedin.com/in/mikeghouse/