It’s the 14th of February, and as they say, ‘Love is in the air!’ But I would like to ask, ‘what type of love exactly are we talking about?’ Agape love, romantic love, family love, brotherly love, marital love, friendly love? I can go on and on!
All over the world, love is celebrated, at different times of the year, although February 14 is recognized as the unofficial ‘Love Day’. In Nigeria, over the past twenty years or so, the celebration of romantic love on February 14, Valentine’s Day, has gained popularity, so much that it is now almost at the same level of celebration as Christmas!
Everybody wants to get involved: men, women, merchants, entertainment industry, tourism and hotels, supermarkets, banks etc. Everybody wants a piece of the action. Even schools have Valentine’s Day activities for kids. Everywhere you go, you find advertisements for various products and services all geared towards celebrating a loved one. It is indeed amazing how broad the celebration has spread.
I am intrigued by the high level of hype generated around the celebration. If you were not in love, you were made to feel you were missing out a great deal, and you should quickly fall in love with someone, anyone!
To be fair, they do make a good job of packaging the various targeted products and services and I believe lots of money is being made across board. However, what most people don’t realize, especially the business people, (not that it’s their place to care), is that many hearts are broken on Valentine’s Day. For some people, expectations are dashed, plans fall through, some dates never show up and some discover infidelity in their spouses! What to do? Do we throw away the baby with the bath water? Should the celebration be discouraged?
I would say ‘No’. Love is such a beautiful thing that should celebrated. Familial love, friendly love, sibling love, romantic love, marital love, sexual love, Godly love. All should be celebrated. Love should be celebrated every day, and there’s even nothing wrong in setting a day apart for the celebration of love.
God’s love is an everyday celebration for those of us who believe in Him. We are grateful every day for His love and forgiveness. When we wake up in the morning, we know it is not the alarm clock that woke us up. We awake because God’s breath is still in us and He has not yet taken it back!
My concern is that the celebration is so hyped up and directed particularly at romantic and sexual love. This has positive and negative results depending on which side of the fence you are on. If you are in a good relationship, Valentine’s Day is another opportunity to celebrate the one you love. You appreciate them every day, but you get a chance to show how special they are on the day.
On the other hand, if you are not in a romantic relationship, your ‘aloneness’ is brought to the front burner and you’re blatantly confronted with it. This is one of the reasons why an ‘alone’ person who was previously happy alone feels pushed to go on a date with a shady character, just because its Valentine’s Day and he’s the only one who asked. She wouldn’t want to turn him down, to end up staying in the dorm alone or staying home alone. This can result in rape, assault or even death. You never know.
Where am I going with all of this? Some die hard romantics are already angry with me. Don’t be. I am also guilty. I am a die-hard romantic. Or let me say I was. These days, I am really rethinking who I thought I was. You see, I just discovered that when you get older, and you don’t have qualms about what people feel about you, the real ‘you’ comes out. The real you that had been hidden over the years due to fears of ‘What will people say?’
It’s interesting to discover that as you begin to truly know and understand the real you, you find that there’s more to discover, always more. That is why heaven will not be boring, contrary to some people’s expectations. You see more and more, and know more and more.
So, I have no quarrel with Valentine’s Day. Just a little squabble. The disagreement begins when the celebrations breed thoughtless promiscuity for one day, which could end up ruining a person’s life! In a bid to let their hair down for a change, some people go overboard and get drunk, follow a stranger, are less cautious and get themselves in perilous situations. We have heard a lot of their stories.
Therefore, let us celebrate responsibly this year!
I wish you Happy Valentine’s Day 2019! Eat, drink, laugh, be merry, enjoy yourself, whether you’re home alone, home with friends and family or you’re out on a date or a friendly outing. Whatever the case, be alert. Watch out for the hyenas. Don’t let them get you.
As for me, I think I’ll just take it easy at home. Have a good meal and relax with some family love.