Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, a day set aside to celebrate love — the most powerful human emotion.
It is a holiday that makes some people uncomfortable. After all, it’s easy to be at a loss for words when we try to express something as complex, and confounding, as love.
Love can be felt, but can’t be seen. No one knows for sure where it comes from, but we know that it is timeless. And it seems inexplicable that something so precious and powerful could exist in such abundance.
There are those who are cynical about love. After all, we live in a world torn by war, mired in economic strife, marred by injustice and hatred.
Yet, just about every week when you open the Donalsonville News, you will see photos and stories in the newspaper dedicated to love.
There are couples announcing their engagements or weddings and young and old birthday celebrations.
Few words in the English language inspire such a myriad of emotions as Valentine’s Day.
The ancient Greeks had not one, but four words for love: agápe, storge, philía, and éros.
Agape was thought to be a contented love, the type shared within a family. Today Christians refer to agape as an unconditional love, one God feels for humankind and humans, in turn, extend at large to their fellow men.
Storge is an affectionate, accepting love, while philia is a strong feeling of love or admiration for something, a love, tinged with loyalty. Eros is defined as love conceived by Plato as a fundamental creative impulse having a sensual element.
Valentine’s Day is a day to honor all of them. Fretting over detail is what makes this a stressful day for some.
But the concern is unfounded, according to the wisdom of Plato. He was a pretty smart guy; after all, Socrates was his teacher and Aristotle was his student.
“At the touch of love,” Plato said, “Everybody is a poet.”
So, fearlessly tell those you love how you love them, and why. You can tell them in words, you can put your words on paper, or show them by your actions.
This is one day when such poetry will be appreciated. Plato is on your side.
Valentine’s Day is a reminder that love deserves to be celebrated — today, and every day.
Have a very happy Valentine’s Day!
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The greatest happiness of life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves.
– Victor Hugo