It’s Valentine’s day, which provides many Sillimanians with a much-needed distraction from the stress and worries brought about by the midterm exams. Some may roll their eyes at the very idea of Valentine’s Day and say it’s just a silly excuse to spend money. True, Valentine’s Day does seem useless—why do we need to be reminded to show our love for our boyfriends/girlfriends? Do we really need to buy candy, roses, teddy bears and other products in the name of love? If those happen to be your thoughts during this “singles awareness day” then you’re forgetting what Valentine’s Day really is all about. Historically, Valentine’s day was created in honor of Saint Valentine who was imprisoned for performing weddings for soldiers who weren’t allowed to be married, and assisting Christians who were persecuted under the Roman Empire. He believed in love so strongly, it cost him his life. Thus, Valentine’s Day, a day to show love, sprang from his examples.
So, at its core, Valentine’s Day really is a celebration of love. People hold celebrations for a number of reasons: historical reasons, religious reasons and reasons related to milestones, such as birthdays and New Year. It is interesting to note that during Valentine’s Day, we celebrate the emotion of love—an emotion, deemed by many to be without reason. Most people will say that love is a complex feeling, one that cannot be easily explained. Still, it is an emotion that makes people happy. Even if you’re the most bitter, anti-Valentine’s-day person to ever exist, you’ll still feel that familiar, warm fuzzy feeling when someone tells you that they care about you.
Keep in mind that Valentine’s Day isn’t limited to couples alone. While some students are greeted by mountains of cards, roses and other tokens from admirers, this doesn’t mean that the rest of us are doomed to be, according to a popular internet meme, forever alone. Although the Weekly Sillimanian staffers don’t mind the idea of celebrating love, we feel that such an emotion can be celebrated in other ways, with other people aside from your boyfriend or girlfriend. Students shouldn’t feel discouraged if they aren’t receiving the best V-day presents money can buy, in fact, they should see that Valentine’s Day should be a day to spread love to other people—namely, their family and friends. Everyone has friends and family for whom they have strong feelings of love for. Wouldn’t it be a much better use of our time to remind these people, whether they be your parents, siblings or best friends, how much you love and appreciate them? Do it now. Drop whatever it is you’re doing, and call your parents and tell them you love them. Write letters to your friends, thanking them for being there when you needed them the most. It may be expected to purchase expensive presents, but even a simple handmade card or a hug can work wonders for relationships. It’s often said that the price of the gift doesn’t matter as long as it comes from the heart (such a saying can also apply to other holidays, such as Christmas) but how often do we actually get to practice what we preach? We at the Weekly Sillimanian would like to remind our readers that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about romantic love.
If you’ve finished this editorial and is still hating Valentine’s day, it won’t be going away anytime soon. Don’t spend the holiday grumbling about how much it sucks. Take some time to honor Saint Valentine and go spread love. Don’t feel too bad if you happen to be without friends or family this Valentine’s—-drop by an orphanage and donate your time. Even those who aren’t as fortunate as we are need to be loved, too. Just celebrate love, whether it’s platonic, familial or romantic.