BY AZEMOBOR GREGORY.
Valentine day, celebrated on the 14th of February every year, means a lot of things to different people. Historically, Valentine is a time set aside to celebrate the life and times of a Catholic priest called Valentine, who lived in the third century and was killed for his exemplary acts of love.
The underlying factor in Valentine is love and kindness, the Greek word for love may be translated in many ways: Philia or affectionate love, family love; eros or passion and agape or unconditional love. Agape- the unconditional love is the authentic love that God instituted to govern the inter relationship amongst his creations. Love is a law not just feeling. The law of love mandates humans and all other creation to give ‘life’ to others. What you give to others provides for their sustenance. In the same vein when you withhold from giving to others, you deny them of ‘life’. Therefore, when you give to others, you obey the law of love, and you are said to live in love. I think this philosophy ought to guide the celebration of Valentine Day
Ironically however, humanity is living in flagrant disobedience to the law of love. Human systems and ideologies are deliberately designed to promote this anomaly. All of God’s creations, except man, obey the law of love. And that is why they all give back to life. The sun gives light; the plants give food; the sky gives rain etc. It is only man that lives a self-centred life. This ‘self-giving’ nature of man is conditioned by his defective systems and ideologies. Man originally was created with a nature to love. Before the 'corruption' of his nature, the expression of love was natural to him; giving was done in a reflex manner.He did't need to think or even struggle to give and help others. His sense of compassion to the needs of others was very strong and real.
All the problems and crisis that are bedeviling the world today, is traceable to man’s refusal to live in love. I believe that Love is the only panacea to global instability. The urgent need to promote the restoration of the virtue of love ought to be the central message of Valentine Day celebration. But regrettably, it is not so.
Valentine should be a season to show kindness, by doing something special to show others that you truly care, by talking to friends, family members, also give gifts you can afford such as cards, flowers and chocolates. What matters is the good will you show to others, your kindness to impact positively on others and create good relationship.
However, recent happenings in the world, indicate that the original ethos of Valentine celebration has been bastardized. The sanctity of the event has been reduced to a festivity of immoral pleasure. The debasement of the virtue of love has been heightened to an ignoble proportion. The language that Valentine Day speaks is the erotic attraction between opposite sex and the banal carnality that ensues. Instead of promoting the amiable virtue of love, lust has taken the centre stage. The attendant impact of this value disorientation is the perpetuation of evil that herald the celebration
Valentine ought to be a season of love and not lust, Love is a choice as much as it is a feeling or a decision. Lust is an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body, sex should not be the main reason for valentine but to show love to our community members. Also valentine is not a time to start drinking alcohol or take part in other bad activities, but a great opportunity to express natural love to people
On this day most people seek after who would be their “Val” or “lover”. There seem to be so much craze around the world because of February 14th. This craze had for a long time turned out to be a business opportunity for many to the extent that February 14th, just like December 25th had been highly commercialized. Within a period of twenty-four hours most people lose their cool in an effort to ritualize what they cannot grasp it’s attendant reasons and values. Sometimes I sit and ponder if love that I know is seasonal (as some people would say it is the season of love) or February 14th bound.
Beyond the legend and Saint Valentine himself, the celebration should be all about love and from my knowledge God is love . If love in the real sense is what is being celebrated today, then God ought to be the centre of the celebration. The best way to celebrate God is to do His will not our own will, nor that of the devil nor that of other people. There is need for humanity to redefine what is being celebrated on this 14th day of February. Are we celebrating love or lust? Are we moved with genuine love and care or by a sudden wave of emotions that will last for twenty-four hours? Are we set to please God on this day or to please the devil? At the end of the celebration can we count ourselves more appreciable to God or lost in lust?
This celebration should at this point become for us more of a sober reflection on what actually constitutes love. It should become for us an active introspection on what we understand as love and how we live it out in connection with God. If on this day you can forgive someone who had wronged you, if today you can extend a helping hand to someone in need, if today you can make a visit to the less fortunate and those who lack love then you would have done a great valuable Valentine’s Day. Do not celebrate a VALUELESS VALENTINE! God bless you
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