Valentine’s day is the one day of the year the rest of the world realizes what we, as writers of romance, know every day: Love makes the world go around.
Wasn’t that a song? (Yup – and here it is : http://bit.ly/2GqHhdW )
I loved when I was in grade school and we were compelled by the teacher to give out little boxed Valentine cards to one another. Every kid in your class received one, that was the rule. No one was left out, not even the teacher. I remember thinking back then, wouldn’t it be a nicer world if everyone received a Valentine’s Day card every day of the year? If everyone was remembered and no one was left out? Wouldn’t the world just be a better place if everyone got to feel valued? Cared about? Thought of? I know I certainly felt that way when I opened my cards.
When I got older and the giving of cards was no longer required, I was sad. Not because I wasn’t receiving any cards (BTW, I wasn’t!) but more because that lesson of showing kindness and inclusion and love to everyone around you was no longer practiced. We were deemed old enough now to make our own decisions on whom to show our love to. I wasn’t the only girl – or boy – who wasn’t given a card or a rose or a chocolate bar on Valentine’s Day. While others found cards and letters shoved into their lockers, or stuffed animals with balloons delivered to their homerooms, those of us who received nothing would be sniggered at and whispered about because we stood out. I can remember what it felt like to feel unworthy; unliked; unloveable. A day devoted to love would morph into the polar opposite of its intended meaning for me.
I really think this was the impetus for me to write romance. I wanted to give people a Valentine card in the form of stories about love. I wanted to make people feel optimistic that one day they would get their own HEA; that everlasting love would find them; that there was someone, somewhere in the world who had their name stamped on a heart. Someone just for them.
As writers of romance we know the intricacies, the ins and outs, the torments and the ultimate elations of finding love. In its purest form, we write about hope. And I truly believe our readers feel hopeful when they read our books. Hopeful that if lasting love hasn’t found them yet, it will. Hopeful that if two characters can put side their differences and problems and realize they are better together than apart, than the reality of that happening to the reader is possible. Hopeful that love truly does make the a world better place. Some may think that’s a little schmaltzy, and maybe it is. But think of the alternative. Which would you like to believe? I know my choice.
Now, I can look back on those lonely Valentine Days of my teenaged years and be thankful because experiencing what it was like to be on the sidelines of feeling loved made me determined to instill in others a feeling of optimism. It forged in me a resolve to show everyone they are valued, worthy of love, and that they are seen. It proved to me that love truly does make the work go around. ( Cue the YOU-TUBE video again! Hee Hee)
So this Valentine’s Day I have a request. Don’t send a card or give candy only to that one person – or more – you love. Show someone who may be feeling unloved the same kindness and thought. Maybe you have an elderly neighbor who has no family, or whose family lives far away, and he/she is all alone on Valentine’s Day. Send them – or better yet, deliver to them – homemade cookies and a card. Maybe you have a food kitchen in your community that serves the homeless, or low-income residents. Have your kids make Valentine’s cards to be passed out with the daily meal. (I still love and recommend those boxed cards because they are so adorable!) Address a card to your mailperson and leave it in your mailbox for them to pickup when they make your delivery. Do the same with your garbage men, or any service industry people you come in contact with. Nursing home residents are members of a community that many times get overlooked and forgotten on Valentine’s Day. Again, a little boxed card and a Hershey’s kiss candy can go a long way in making someone’s day happier.
Everyone deserves to feel special and loved, and not just on the one day we collectively devote to it, but everyday. If we all start with that premise and then practice it, think about how happier people would be; how much nicer we would all be to one another; how much brighter our days would turn. How our world would be a better place.
Just something to think about….
Happy Valentine’s Day from me to you every day of the year! ~ Peg
(PS. This blog was also posted on the CRW blogsite today)