Happy Valentine’s Day. People, more and more, are opposin almost every American holiday. Capitalism at it’s best, right? Shopping is always a choice. You can choose to NOT BUY anything for any holiday – gifts for Christmas and Valentines, party decor and clothing for New Year’s and 4th of July, food and table settings for Easter and Thanksgiving – but it doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate or honor those people for why we established some of them. Whether it’s St. Valentinus for continuing to proselytize his Christian beliefs and marrying Christian couples, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for fighting for the equal rights of Black Americans, the founding fathers of America for fighting against the British to becomes an independent nation or the Lord Jesus Christ for coming to save humanity from our sins, holidays are a time of reflection and cultural celebration. No, Christopher Columbus did not “discover” America; yes, some people work on Labor Day; and, yes, George Washington had slaves, but we, as American people, would not be here, where we stand today, without the actions of people in our past. Not all of those actions were positive. Free Blacks and slaves fought in the Revolutionary War. And slaves – free labor – helped to build the economy of this new debt-ridden nation.
Of course, we should LEARN about our history EVERY DAY. Of course we can love each other all year long. As children, we were taught to give Valentine’s Day cards to our entire class, not a select few. As adults, for most people, we give cards and gifts to our lovers and perhaps our mothers. But how many people show love to people not in our household or our circle of friends? How many of us would ask a stranger “How are you?” and actually wait for a response. How many of us would help someone without receiving anything in return.
I am all for taking a day out of my busy life to reflect and dig a little deeper into the lives and history of America. I am all for making sure all sides of history are honored. I am all for businesses capitalizing on holidays – the Superbowl certainly does – it keeps our economy going and it gives me the choice to make money on my own terms. I’ll admit that I some times need the reminder as I get bogged down with my day-to-day life. Celebrate or don’t celebrate. Spend money or don’t spend money. But always remember, reflect, honor and pass it on. And more importantly, don’t get so caught up in the skirmishes of life that you miss out on the big picture.
As an American, I ate this delicious pancake my mother made (it was my second one) after church at my aunt’s house. It was a lazy Sunday afternoon where I chose to veg-out and relax with my family. Again, Happy Valentine’s Day. Here is an abundance of love from me to you.