It's Valentine's Day in America.
I've never paid much attention to this day with all its candies, cards, flowers and candlelight dinners. In fact, the cynical side of me thinks this is just another way for corporate America to make some extra cash by marketing yet another holiday. But today I had this insight that Valentine's Day may not be such a bad thing after all. In fact, in the larger scope of current events, Valentine's Day may actually be a very good thing.
This morning, as I listened to the recap of yesterday's Republican presidential debate, I was once again struck with the degree of ugly speech that has so inundated this country over the past months. It's almost as if we have become immune to the kind of ugly personal attacks and insults that have been so characteristic of our political landscape of late.
On top of that, every day the air is polluted with all the nasty speech that fills the social media - mean-sprited tweets, comments and posts on Facebook. The air has become polluted and we have just gotten used to the smell. But, in the long run, it's making us all pretty sick.
On Valentine's Day people send out different kind of energy. They send Valentines and give flowers and candy, they hold hands and speak tender and gentle words of intimacy and love. It's almost as if sending Valentines provides some sort of antidote for the polluted and poisoned air infecting the social atmosphere.
I am reminded of one of my favorite Zen sayings:
I play with flowers and the fragrance clings to my clothes.
Instead of playing with garbage, today people play with flowers. Today, the nasty tweets and ugly insults are tempered by sending Valentines. That's why I say that Valentine's Day may actually be a very good thing, especially in these times when so many ugly words fill the air.
Today is a great day to wash off the garbage and play with flowers so that their fragrance might cling to our clothes.
The Buddha taught:
Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle
and the life of the candle will not be shortened.
Happiness never decreases by being shared.
Today is a good day for us all to light a candle of kindness, a good day to send out messages of love so that its energy can ripple throughout the atmosphere and shed some light on an increasingly darkened world.
Happy Valentine's Day!