There will be a lot of talk about love this month. But I want to talk about more than just romance.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a big believer in flowers, chocolates, romantic dinners and walks on the beach. However, I’m worried that romance is overshadowing other forms of love. Let’s face it, they’re not making a lot of movies or writing novels about the love that is hard work and doesn’t involve fun and excitement. It’s too bad, because it’s exactly that kind of love that lasts a lifetime, makes the world a richer place and sees you through the rough spots in life.
It is a bit of cliché to say that a parent’s love is what drives him or her to get up every two hours with an infant for what seems like an eternity, but it is that same love that pushes them to work an eight-hour day then come home and spend hours helping with homework or driving to soccer practice and finishing the day doing laundry after the kids have gone to sleep. It’s a love that won’t have an immediate reward. Parents meet their children’s needs out of love, not for reward. However, society’s respect and honouring of this act of love seems to be diminishing these days. I think we need to give more support to parents and celebrate what they are willing to sacrifice for their children. We also need to teach children to respect their parents, even when they have no idea of everything their parents are doing for them. Children learn this respect from how parents treat each other.
Another form of love that gets short shrift is the love people have for the arts. For example, my friend, Brian Groos, loves music, in particular, Baroque music. For the last 10 years he has organized the Pacific Baroque Festival. He does it so he can share the music he loves with the people of the city he loves. He gives his time and energy to make this festival a reality. Many of those who attend the concerts have no idea of the love that has made this festival a reality. Like a parent, Brian doesn’t do this for reward or recognition. Seeing others share the music he loves fills his soul, but it would be nice if Brian and the art lovers like him who make our community a richer place could feel some of our love in return.
On Valentine’s Day, absolutely, do something romantic with the love of your life, but in addition, take time to show love to your parents, or parents you know, and show your love for the arts and buy a ticket to something wonderful.
Jo-Ann Roberts is an award-winning, veteran journalist.