My Half-Century Valentine's Day Epiphany
Happy Valentine's Week Everyone.
Let's talk about love. What is love? Well the definition in Webster's dictionary says that love is " a quality or feeling of strong or constant affection for and dedication to another". Let's put that into some real life examples - it's new mom's waking up every two hours to feed their babies, it's the husband who puts the coffee machine on as he leaves for work - for his wife who isn't yet awake, and it's cleaning up after your kids and spouse even though you have asked them a million times to put their stuff away...but it can also be holding the door for a stranger whose hands are full, bringing back your neighbours dog who likes your lawn better than theirs, and it can be a friendly wave to the snow plow driver whose job it is to keep the snow off of the road and by default into the end of your driveway, while he is making the roads a little bit safer.
One of the things about the pandemic is that I seem to have a lot of time to think, and lately I have been thinking about how the world has changed over my half century. It seems like we as a human race are more focused on ourselves, our needs and wants - and there are times we don't even notice what is going on with the people right beside us.
So...what does this have to do with Valentines Day? Paul Tillich, a theologian, said that "the first duty of love is to listen". So my personal goal for Valentine's Day 2021 is to - love more - by listening. To truly be curious about the others around me and find out who they are and what they need. After nearly 50 years of listening mostly to myself...it's time!