When you think about it, there are no worldwide holidays. Its too bad. Christmas and Easter are Christian celebrations. The Fourth of July and Thanksgiving are mostly U.S. holidays.Even New Years Day isnt worldwide; this year the Chinese New Year began on Jan. 31.
Perhaps Valentines Day should be the first world holiday. After all, love is truly a universal concept. We could set aside the day to celebrate love and kindness.
No doubt, we could use more love in the world; we have enough strife and war. There is way too much poverty and hunger; we endure a great deal of crime. The human condition could use a lot of improvement. More love and kindness would certainly help.
And isnt love the most important of all emotions? It binds and solidifies marriage, family, community and even the state. It guides the collective efforts of friends and neighbors. It is universal to all nationalities, religions and ethnicities. Love has no borders.
Along with the romanticized notion of love that dominates society, we also need a basic love for our fellow human beings that all religions teach.
We need to let the simple principle of the Golden Rule guide us each day. We all can do just a little bit better in our relationships; we can try a little harder to make the world a better place to live.
No doubt, many of us are in loving relationships. There are families in harmony and many of us work hard to provide for our families. We have volunteers in our community giving of their time and energy. We have fraternal organizations doing good work. We have people making extraordinary efforts caring for the sick and the elderly. We have people contributing their time in schools, churches and community groups. We have individuals and organizations doing great work through philanthropy. They all are expressing love for their fellow humans. We need more like them.
So go ahead and give those Valentines Day cards to the people you love. Buy flowers, gifts and balloons for those you treasure. Be especially attentive to the special ones you love. These expressions are important. We cant do too much of that.
However, we should continue the manifestations all year for those around us. No matter how small or frequent, there are no inconsequential acts of kindness.
All of the little acts of love and caring we express to loved ones, neighbors and strangers truly make a difference. Collectively, these good deeds reflect who we are as humans.
Thank people, hold hands, open a door, send a get-well card, kiss someone good night, care for the sick, jump-start a car, visit a shut-in, be tolerant, volunteer, drive someone to a medical appointment, assist the elderly, tutor someone, donate to good causes, congratulate, praise and compromise.
These are all acts of love. If we all did a few more of them, the world would be a better place. Yes, Valentines Day should be a world holiday. That would be reason for hope on a global scale.
Let the celebration begin.
Arkfeld is a retired teacher in Los Banos. Send comments or questions to him at firstname.lastname@example.org.