Valentine’s Day should celebrate all types of love

(graphic by Lizzy Cook).
(graphic by Lizzy Cook).

These days, Valentine’s Day has a more negative meaning than a positive one.

It seems like more and more people dislike this holiday, complaining about the obscene amount of red and pink that shows up and dismiss the fact that it is no longer a day of love, but a day where guys spend too much money on girls. You’re depressed if you don’t have a valentine, and the consumer world uses it to their advantage.

But when it comes down to it, it is a day about love, regardless of the kind of love it is. Yes, stores make obscene amounts of money from other people’s desire to please their partner. Girls get too worked up about what their boyfriends should buy for them and if you’re single, you automatically become a pathetic person with no one to share the day with.

However, it shouldn’t be about money, products or whether or not you’re in a relationship. It should be about what the day represents.

It’s the one day of the year where any type of wild action or bold declaration of love is acceptable. It’s the one day of the year where you can tell that girl in your math class that you’ve had a crush on her forever, or you can tell your ex-boyfriend that you still love him. It’s a day about courage.

If you’ve seen the movie We Bought a Zoo, you not only made a good decision to watch a handsome Matt Damon and a hot Scarlett Johansson on the big screen, but you got the perfection definition of courage. Damon’s character advises his son on the importance of expressing the truth, on telling the girl he likes how he feels. He says, “You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally 20 seconds of just embarrassing bravery and I promise you, something great will come of it.”

This is what Valentine’s Day is about. It’s about mustering up 20 seconds of courage you can’t find in yourself on any other day, and telling someone you like them, you love them, you think they’re pretty—or whatever it is you’re feeling.

It shouldn’t be about gifts or where you go for dinner. It shouldn’t be about roses and chocolate. It should be about love. It doesn’t even have to be about romantic love. If you are single, it’s not because you’re pathetic. For whatever reason, the universe has decided that it’s your time to be alone, or you have decided that for yourself.

So call your mom or dad or siblings and declare your love for them. Platonic love is just as important as romantic love. While there are obviously different ways of showing it—and for the sake of your sanity, don’t mix these ways up—it all comes back to the four letter word.

So, on this Valentine’s Day, forget about the heart balloons in the mall and the overstocked shelves of cheesy two dollar valentines in Wal-Mart. Forget about the expensive roses that are just going to die soon and about the Belgian chocolate you spent an entire pay check on. Get back to the roots of the holiday, back to hand written cards and the fact that this day originated from a saint named Valentine who was imprisoned for marrying soldiers that were forbidden to wed.

This Valentine’s Day, remember to celebrate love.

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