Valentine Day is a popular time in a year, namely February 14. Nigerians celebrate it with zealousness and craziness. So what can we now do better on a Val Day? What is love and friendship in the spirit of Valentine Day? This short article opens a view to understanding the dimensions of love and friendship embodied in Valentine celebration.
In light of the asking, what can we do on a Valentine Day, the article makes the point that we can do something, and that is what we know. Once we have chosen to do something of value, love comes out and showers on people around you. It highlights the fact that love, as it may sometimes be erroneously taken, is not a free taking thing. It involves obligations although in some moments, love can be cheap or expensive depending on who are involved and where it is played out on the theatre of felt needs. You can cheat a person involved in love but what is equally clear is that no one ever cheats the force virtues of love as a word. Valentine love is unique. It is played by lovers to fulfill ends - the end of which is to build the spirit of working together and therefore solidarity to cherish and behold that which is good and lasting in community.
As such, what can we do on a Valentine Day resonates with what we think and consider to be appropriate in the context of living, loving, giving and receiving? People and society can't thrive where these are missing. Like it or not, love is love. Lovers endure with love. Am I writing love? No. I am writing Valentine love and why it is a big deal. As such, the big "Day" is here. I Love U Day; called "Valentine Day". All roads they say lead to the house of people called Valentine on a day like this – Feb. 14 of every year. Who is that historic Valentine? A man mishandled and killed for his love. That unfailing spirit to use love to solve problems - sharing what you have – good voice, money, talents, opportunities, stories, reporting the bad things and people in community such as armed robbers, kidnappers and bombers, etc, and also by contributing to elevate the lives of the vulnerable poor and people denied and mistreated in society. It also pertains to being nice in a way you have never been since February 14 last year to your house mates, neighbours and everyone you will meet in the month of Feb. 2012.
Send letters to your leaders, councilors, parliamentarians, house reps, senators, ministers, and the entire presidency, especially the president himself, Dr. Goodluck E Jonathan to extend love to you and others in Nigeria and to Nigerians living outside the country. Remember your church leaders and administrators – pray for them to be in love with the reality of those they shepherd with the true love of God. The unemployed, the youth, students, and even the security persons and enforcers of the law should show and receive a way to do good, not to do harm, exploit or kill others. Above all, the theory of love is found in the practice of love. For love to be and used, it needs to be understood that it is easily started but in deed very hard to maintain.
Love is a house wall painted in different colours. Such colours are lovely chosen by the owner of the house to shine out his/her taste of variety into one single home of the emotional heart and material body. In the house, the beauty of heart and body dwells.
Valentine convokes symbolic and practical experiences of a love festival. As you celebrate and feast love, it brings out that special moment to feast life with another. Today and more days ahead, you will see love in action, particularly inNigeria. It is a force that drives people towards the other, opening doors of opportunity and emotional connections. If you doubt the power of love, recall Valentine. Recall Jesus; recall the power of wealth and the power of giving. Gift giving is the soul of making love and friendship happen.
Valentine period is therefore a universal celebration of gift giving by lovers to lovers and friends to friends. Enemies will never give out love; so forget giving them love, but prayers to change. Unlike Christmas for Christians, no other period marks the essence of love than Valentine Day. No one will ever celebrate an “Enemy” or “Hate” Day. It is so because bad things celebrate themselves as bad – not to be copied or extended or modelled. For what is truly good will stand out as something of value and Godly and therefore become transferable virtues of human society.
I crave your indulgence to learn love, live love, and offer love and friendship. It is Valentine; which means hope in love and friendship to build a better self and a better community of loved ones. Be the hope, mamacy and papacy of love today. Become the White House, the Aso Rock of Love. Get out there and do something in the name of love and friendship to the society in which you live in, work and study. Valentine date for being nice and doing good is a way to go. Get involved, because love and friendship matter. Without meaningful love and friendship lived, shared, dignified, restored, and expanded, life will be miserable and society will degenerate into a brutal game of anarchy and Boko Haramism. Why do people chase love, even kill to get and control the love of someone desired? Answer is clear. Love provides a good feeling, security and inclusion. On love we stand on Valentine Day. Get it or loose it. It is up to you, my cheri, to do good with the love of this day in which Valentine is symbolically and religiously immortalized and heavenly adored. Living without love is being in hell. Let non-lovers get lost. No beer, wine, semolina with uha and okporoko soup or isi ewu for them. I mean this, ooh!
Valentine Day is increasingly seen as a tolerated courting opportunity, and indeed, one whose commercial side is much appreciated by both the Christian and none Christian worlds. Like Christmas, Valentine has become a consumerist feast; a galore of love, glamour and gift sharing. Traders have adopted Valentine occasion to bransdish amorous ways of relating to another and enhancing emotional goodness. To love, retailers tend to show, is to truly show it and live out in society - both in public and private places. Capitalism in love-connect and friendship making has therefore penetrated the hardline Islamic societies and the youth from such societies are breaking loose to embrace the common denominator of love - feeeling good and harvesting love gifts in a high blown global consumerist attitude.
If you have not opened your mouth to say I love you to anyone before, be courageous to learn how to say ‘I love you”. While it is not easy, as cultural pundits will argue it is untraditional to openly declare “I Love You” on the streets of Nigeria, for example, sometimes, it is urgent to realize how ‘I love you’ helps to heal the pains of social troubles and conflicts. A moment of Valentine daylight and night is a moment of doing no harm to one and the other. Valentine celebration marks people’s peace time, a friendly and lovely sense of lover-hood, club-hood, people-hood, village-hood, community-hood, state-hood, nations-hood, continental-hood and world-hood. All is love, in love and for love. It is Great Valentine. Be happy and generous with what you have got! Unleash your love to the world around you. Happy Valentine to all.