By Oludara Ogunbowale
When I was in secondary school, Valentine’s Day was one of the most exciting times for students, especially for those who were dating at the time. It was the only day when lovers exchanged gifts and did not ‘hide’ the fact that they were lovers.
Recently at a re-union, I found out that some of my classmates had lied to get money off their parents to get relatively expensive gifts for their dates, some had to steal valuables from their parents to afford these gifts for their lovers and some others just plainly lied that their lockers were raided to avoid further nuances from their dates on getting them valentine’s gifts. Things we did in high school!
My office called a few cake shops today and they were all booked, even Pizza outlets that would always answer calls at the first ring at their end did not pick calls until a few trials. Today is definitely a high-sale and profit day for these kinds of retail outlets. These made me reflect a little on the essence of all of these activities and possible reasons why these outlets are overbooked just once a year like this. I must say it took me down in history. I know I was not around then but come on, there are a lot of oral and written accounts of St. Valentine.
He was a Roman Catholic priest who was killed for secretly marrying lovers who were soldiers because of the erroneous belief that unmarried soldiers fought better than married ones because the unmarried would fight knowing they had nothing to lose! What shallow reason to deny young people the opportunity to give and receive love and companionship.
At the point of his death, history has it that he had no fear and was very sure that he was on the right path. But more than that, his values like selflessness, courage, sacrifice and standing for what was true even in the face of death just caused a 3 – second shiver through my body.
Just like Christmas, Salah and every other annual celebration reminds us of something. Something that stands as a memorial for us and other generations unborn. That we have been called to daily love one another and to put the virtues that uplift society above personal and selfish needs.
Loving our significant other goes beyond buying them gifts for today, but doing this not out of obligation like we did in secondary school or out of deceit and puffery so that we may be counted among givers of Valentine’s gifts. That we genuinely committing ourselves daily to that special one, the people around us, goals that are of great benefit to the society and the world at large, and also, giving ourselves wholly to causes that would outlast our time here just as Valentine did.
So how did you show love today?
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