A Valentine's Day Message

By Zenith Staff

Dear Zenith Readers,

Historically, February 14th marks the day of hallmark cards, romantic dinners, chocolate hearts, and a reminder that Grace Busby’s birthday is in 10 days (oh wait, that might just be me). It is a day about celebrating the love and romance we take for granted in our everyday lives… well, at least it should be. Unfortunately–sitting loosely atop its connections to the Greek god Cupid and Catholic Saint Valentine, and largely upon its annual $18 billion contribution to the American economy–Valentine’s Day’s focus has been shifted from love to money. Moreover, it creates an unrealistic scramble to find someone special to spend it with. This Valentine’s Day, we ask all of you to put these negatives behind and redefine what Valentine’s Day means to you. Now more than ever, the world needs love.

Valentine’s day should not be about what gifts you receive, or even what company you keep. It should be about doing your best to grow love in those around you. Simple gestures of kindness are more precious than what you can buy at the store. Call your mom and tell her you love her; help your elderly neighbor carry his groceries; let your sister borrow your favorite sweater; smile at someone who looks down; sit with someone who’s alone at the lunch table. If you have someone special in your life, be it a friend, significant other, or role model, take time this Valentine’s Day to write them a loving note. It doesn’t require much, but letting them know how much you love them will bring a light to their day. All of these actions can help make the world a better place with Valentine’s Day as the catalyst.

Just as important as loving other people is loving yourself. We live in a world where self-image is often tarnished by unrealistic conformity standards and self-love is deemed selfish. But love is not selfish; love is acceptance and kindness and encouragement and care. And you are special and beautiful just the way you are right now; not after you lose weight, or put on makeup, or wear fancy shoes. You don’t need someone or something else to make you extraordinary. Ditch the efforts for a last minute random date and do something that makes you truly happy. Maybe cook breakfast with your bestie or have a solo dance party in your room. This Valentine’s Day celebrate yourself, because your self-love journey is a step towards life-long happiness.

So, Zenith friends, come spread the love with us this Valentine’s Day season. Let’s work together to inspire compassion, understanding, and acceptance in our communities. With love we can make the world a bit less scary of a place during a time of uncertainty. No hot date or money required!

XOXO Zenith

p.s. we hope you will all be our valentines!