This is a very well-written post by my friend Vernon, who never fails to enlighten people whenever he speaks, or writes in this case. I hold high regards for his ideas and perspectives in many issues he shared with me. And this time he shares his thoughts about Valentine’s Day, on Valentine’s Day. It is initially shared on his Facebook, but I thought it would be better if more people could read about it, to know what Valentine’s Day really means.
So now I present to you, Vernon Lim.
Last weekend I had dinner with a friend. Initially I wanted post something on the “Whats on your mind” to spoil as many people’s valentine day as possible. Why? Because it helped me express something I have always felt since I first heard of Valentine Day; that it was a gimmick.
A day perpetuated by an industry which is hell bent on commercializing a skewed notion of love. Saturated by almost every media source to “show” our Love. As if Love is something which loses value if not expressed in petals or palates.
She didn’t know it, but she changed my mind, hence I decided to do pen this.
We are all familiar with how this day became significant for so many people and its history, if you are not familiar, check it out at www.googleityourself.com.
vday, small caps emphasised, as it is commonly refered to in truncation crazy Singapore, provided an opportunity for so many guys to show that one girl that he thought of her as more than just a friend. It stressed so many girls by forcing them to hint, sometimes excessively at that one guy who she cannot stop thinking about, who seem to possess everything quality she was looking for except the ability to pick up a hint.
Boyfriends brainstorm with other boyfriends ideas on how to out perform last years gestures, and girlfriends crack their collective heads trying to figure what to buy for their guy from the oh-so-limited men section of the shopping world. Guys turn to etched silver and girls to handmade cards in a hopeless struggle to “out personalize” gifts for each other.
But, I detest the notion of a Valentine Day. Not for the values it stand for, but the notion that great displays of Love and affection should and must be grand and sentimental and should occur within a Day. It was as if Love, however you define it, got a boost that day.
A multiplier effect, any act done at the end of the second week of the second month will be received with greater reception. If you don’t believe me, guys try giving heart shaped chocolates every Monday to that girl and you will know what I mean.
Today, I saw an Indian foreign worker helping an old Chinese aunty up the bus. Helping a stranger, in a strange land out of goodness of his heart told me more about what Valentine’s Day was about than the countless couples I saw walking hand in hand through Orchard underpass with overpriced bouquets in hand, ignoring the Tissue paper selling aunty.
Have we forgotten that spirit of Valentine’s Day encompasses friends as well as lovers, family as well as strangers? Your lover was once your friend. If you cannot be a good friend, you surely cannot be a good lover.
Why limit it to a day? Campaigns are measured in days. Lifestyles are measured in lives.
Helping an old lady up the bus, cross the road, up the curb, or even clearing your own tray at the food court to help out the old cleaning lady. Buying two drinks instead of one for your friend when he is stuck in a long q in the canteen so that a drink is waiting for him when he is done queuing up. Call her when you see a good deal and you know she would love to know about it. Warm up dinner when you know your brother is coming home in 30 minutes time. Wash the dishes for your mother when she is not looking.
Screw Valentine’s Day, its Valentine Moments we should strive to realize. Great oceans are made of tiny drops of water; no one drop is more important or greater than the other. Great love is made up of tiny everyday acts, no one act greater or more important than the other. Do something not to show someone that you are thinking of him or her, do it because you are. Do not be deceived by commercial entities selling you the idea that the louder you shout, the greater your Love. They forgot and lest you forget, that most of the greatest assurances of love came in the form of whispers, at night, and close to each other.
And here is me wishing you, many, yet unrealized, and probably unnoticed, Valentine Moments.