Jonathan Hood
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"The highest vocation we can have is Love. Love in action is service."

- Ken Essien

 

Over the past few days, there has been a significant feeling of love in the air. Sunday was Valentine's Day. Yesterday, for my fellow Ontarians, was Family Day. Over the weekend, I overheard a lot of disgruntled people say how terrible Valentine's Day is. They questioned why they had to go and spend money and do different things. It reminded me of something I experienced while I was on my trip to Cuba in 2009.

Through a class, I went on a trip to learn about the sports and athletic industry over there. It was pretty phenomenal. I learned that based on the facilities I went to, the people there put a lot of pride and money in to different sports like baseball, boxing, basketball and soccer etc. I just happened to be there during Valentine's Day, but I had actually forgotten what day it was.

And as I walked around the city, I saw people holding hands, hanging out by the water, and enjoying wine and tea by the pier. It seemed like everyone was out. My initial thoughts were, “Why on earth is everyone so lovey-dovey in this country? I've never seen this before." Then, I realized what day it was. Valentine's Day.

The thing is, just like us, these couples had 364 other days to show that they loved each other (and they probably did). One of the main arguments I always hear against Valentine's Day is that we neglect to show love to our partners every other day in the year. Clearly, this was far from the truth. Why not have one day when you really poured into your significant other? No distractions. No work. No gym. No extracurricular activities. Just love. Sometimes we overlook the daily needs of our partners. We assume that by doing daily tasks, being courteous or simply just co-habitating, we are showing them the love they deserve. But sometimes adding that extra oomf and going that extra mile adds something especially flavourful to the relationship - romance. 

You really don’t have to buy your friend, partner or spouse anything. It’s up to you. But what I do recommend is that at least, for that day, show them a little bit extra. At least for that day, do a bit more. And just like yesterday was Family Day, show appreciation for the ones you have around you. Some of us have less family than others.

Take some deliberate time out to spend with them. Really enjoy them, their company, and their presence. Let’s keep the love flowing.

 

-JH

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