Valentine’s Day is about lovers. Well, not exactly. It really is more about caring for others. The holiday is named after Saint Valentine, a Roman priest from the third century known for marrying Christian couples during a time when they were being persecuted by Caldius Gothicus, the Roman emperor of the era.
Saint Valentine was not about his own comforts or his own relationships. He was adamant about caring for others. Helping others reach their potential and share love in a time when you could be killed for doing so. Saint Valentine was caught, arrested, and imprisoned for aiding Christians who loved enough to want something that was illegal at the time. He was martyred for these beliefs and actions.
Are you that committed to helping others that you would sacrifice yourself for it? For me, maybe not. I am humbled by those that stand up to such dire consequences. Hearing this story does refocus my intention on what am I willing to do? How do I want to treat others? What do I want to do to make my community better, my world better? It takes the focus off what flowers am I going to get, or what chocolates didn’t I get. (But boy, do I love hazelnut praline truffles!) And asks the questions, what am I willing to sacrifice?
It changes the focus from me, me, me to we, we, we. That shift in thinking changes my thoughts from a lack of things, to an abundance of opportunity. It shifts the focus from one to many. It changes the focus away from jealousy about what others have that I may not (able to go to the store without baby spit on your shirt, a full toilet paper roll when you go to the bathroom, a clean house with no mystery chocolate under the couch, a co-worker that doesn’t condescendingly explain everything to you in meetings, or a relative that follows through on what they promise), and redirects it to, I have enough. I am where I should be. Others have these same struggles and I am not alone. There may be a woman who cannot have children that envies the baby spit stained shirt. There may be an empty nester that misses the noise and mystery chocolate under the couch.
The focus on, “what can I do for others” reminds me I am willing to fight for what is right. I know there are many people in the same situation that will triumph. They will refocus on relationships and what they can do for others. Because in the end, connecting is what matters. Not the things, not the items I don’t have, but the relationships I support, the people I encourage.
Who are you encouraging? And how? This year I am participating and encouraging my community to get involved. One way of doing that in a huge way is through Impact 100 TC. This is going to be BIG and we need your help! Check out our membership page to learn more.
…Now go do something for someone else in the true sense of Saint Valentine!