True Meaning of Valentine’s Day by Eva McEneaney

Valentine’s day is here again and as everyone is buying thier chocolates and flowers for that special someone , it got me thinking . What was it all about ? I found this article on The Huffington Post which depicts one of the many suggested origins for the day.According to this article , in the 3rd Century in The Roman Empire , marriage was banned amongst young people by the Emperor so that more young men would be able to go into battle . Valentine, was a priest at this time who believed that marriage was a God-given gift and began officiating marriages illegally .When this was discovered , he was inprisoned and beheaded and toward the end of the 5th Century , the Pope made February 14th an official feast day for Valentine.
This is a great story and it definitely reinforces the power of love but to what extent does the power of love need to be emphasised ? Do we really need a day that is set aside for those who have that special someone to show us what we mean to one another ? Isn’t this just giving the card and chocolate companies another day to completely exploit the public and for a big percentage of society a day to be made to feel excluded ?
Personally , I remember as a little girl , getting a card through the post box each Valentine’s from a “Secret Admirer” whose hand writing looked uncannily like my mothers. . I always remember feeling loved , but it was a different kind of love than the one usually felt on Valentines day , it was a special feeling of being loved and appreciated by my family .The sentiment was very touching but as I look back I wonder what would be so wrong in my mother expressing her love for her child on this special day ?
Why is this day set aside exclusively for couples? If you are going to completely over commercialise a feast day , why must it be such a ” members only ” club?
I think the meaning of this day needs to be re-examined and instead of telling our partners how much they mean to us , we should also appreciate the other special people in our lives. Self – love is , aswell, an important issue which in my opinion should be incorporated into Valentines Day . I think this type of love is very ignored while being a crucial part of life.
The saying springs to mind “Before loving some one else you must learn to love yourself” and I think this is very accurate. The amount of time we give to other people and time we spend caring for others needs must not completely overwrite our own need for love . Self-love and appreciation should be something that , in my opinion , is involved in everyone’s life and I think Valentines Day could be used as a nice reminder of that . We should take the day to treat ourselves to a nice meal or long relaxing bath -we deserve it after the long week !
Valentines day is also the date of another important global event ,V-Day . This international movement to end violence against women and girls.I think this is a great opportunity to support this cause and it really reinforces the idea of showing love for everyone , ,not just your partner, on this day .
If couples do celebrate , it should be an equal demonstration of each other’s appreciation .In this day and age , love should not mean one half of the partnership being completely spoiled by the other. To me , this idea seems slightly archaic . However , you choose to spend Valentine’s day ,
whether it be by treating someone else or treating yourself . Enjoy it ! Because all you need is love !
The link to the Huffington Post article is :valentines day origin

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