As time marches on, we like to think that mankind is moving towards a better place. Looking at all the progress we have made, and all the wonderful things science has given us, it would be hard to say we haven’t made progress. Here in America, we have unparalleled medical technology, homes with air conditioning, and near limitless freedom to pursue our dreams. Compared to a time when mankind lived in fear of disease, starvation, and exposure to the elements, we certainly do seem to have made some progress.
However, despite these great accomplishments of ours, countless new issues seem to arise out of thin air. Could it be that with all our science and progress, we cannot solve our new, 21st century issues? In light of all our tools and knowledge, I think we would have no problem solving any issue facing us today. The real issue lies in the nature of our problems, which, I propose, are fabricated by their own victims. These issues we create are due to one simple thing. Mankind is forgetting how to do one of our most innately human things; I fear that we are forgetting how to love.
It was inevitable, of course, that someone would write an article about love so soon after St. Valentine’s Day, so I’m sure you are unsurprised to be reading this right now. When was the last time you honestly thought about this holiday, or even love, for that matter? What do you think love is? Do you even consider the word anymore, or do you automatically turn up your nose as you are reminded of a cliché, over-affectionate couple? St. Valentine’s Day is not about chocolate or proclaiming your pride as a relational hermit. St. Valentine’s day is about love. It is a celebration of something that is so exclusively and intimately human that we give it about as much thought as breathing. That simple, four letter word that is both a noun and a verb is as simple as it is elegant. We define love as a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person, though we do not often limit it to people. We say we love our jobs, or love the weather, or love our music and books. Any given person has an entire list of things that they love. And it is we humans alone that experience this strange, altruistic feeling.
I don’t intend to pontificate about love as though I know very much about it, but I am standing tall and proud on my soapbox as I chastise all people about our increasing lack of it. If I am certain of one thing, it is that we are sorely lacking love for one another in our modern world. St. Valentine’s Day started in honor of a man who was executed for marrying Christian couples and defending love, and yet today we barely observe its deep meaning. We have reduced it to a day to buy chocolate and scoff at infatuated couples. All our issues here in America are fabricated from our refusal to love and understand one another. We refuse to acknowledge that each and every person, whether they are our opponents or our allies, is human, just the same as ourself.
Everyone, from Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton, is human, and we share this world with them. On St. Valentine’s Day, take a moment to appreciate love, and every day, exercise it. Show someone you dislike a measure of understanding, and strive to hold more love in your heart than hate. Every person is just as capable of love as the next, and we would find ourselves in a truly progressive and forward thinking world if we made an effort to understand each other and showed just a little more love for one another.