Celebrating Love on Valentines Day

Dear God,

I bet it’s very hard for you to love all of everybody in the whole world. There are only 4 people in our family and I can never do it.

Nancy

I got this from a book. A collection of prayers from the world’s most virtuous people – a group of individuals called ‘children’. True. I laughed hard while flipping through the pages but that’s just minor. Behind the guffaws that almost made me throw my lungs out is an ancient unrequited question:

“How really is it to LOVE?”

love_cookiesWarning: I am not a love guru. The next paragraphs that you are about to read are from my repository of memories, readings, experiences, favorite hearsays, my humble mind and beliefs, and most especially, my collection from real Christian people.

I was seriously taken aback by the book’s total flaunt of purity and innocence but my teaser-line topped it all off. The effect of this short prayer from a spotless young soul is a life-changing thing for me. I mean, how often can you get such a humbling and powerful ‘something’ while looking for huge coloring books for your one-year old daughter? I think it is also noteworthy that I define powerful as something that hits the heart’s bulls-eye.

I am pretty sure that most of us know the 4 kinds of love according to the Greeks – Agape, Eros, Philia, and Storge. And yes, they do sound Greek! Let me try to put LOVE in layman’s term in English, if I may say:

LOVING YOUR FAMILY
Okay, so do you love your Mom? Your Dad? Your siblings? Of course! Why not? You grew with them, slept together, ate Christmas dinners together, squeezed yourselves-in at home during a batch chickenpox era and talked about how your neighbors talk about your other neighbors. You do love them because of so and so, blah-blah-blah, and a whole lot of other reasons. Oftentimes, we say that we love our family members without reason, but man, open up and admit that we do love them because they simply are, our family.

LOVING YOUR FRIENDS
Way back in college, whenever someone I don’t like expresses an intention to be friends with me, either directly or by channeling the message to my so-called peers, I simply say, “Oh, no need, I already have plenty.” Wicked, isn’t it? But how really do we love people apart from our family? Do we choose? Do we trust easily?

friendshipDo we have a tenet that everyone can walk and hold hands with us from school days to gray-hair days? For people who are living on the borderline between being sweet and spicy, I guess not. Humans have instincts. It’s a gift from the Creator. Jesus Christ himself felt this when He met Judas, but he didn’t mind. As for the majority, admit it or not, we use our instincts. We choose our friends. And from there, we then love.

LOVING YOUR COLLEAGUES
So you’re a manager. A CEO. A staff. A tea-lady. I have a question for all of you who are reading this. I absolutely agree that we should all be professional leaders or followers in the work area and it is only right for us to respect people and give our best in everything that we do. But aside from being all of what I’ve mentioned, who doesn’t get wet with water? Can’t connect? What I’m trying to say here is that we could all be different in so many ways but there will always be a lot of things that will make us all equal. Think about it, if everyone in the workplace keeps little things like this in their hearts, then maybe we can all say our sweet au revoir to egoism, pride, and divisions.

Though I am not always successful in bringing this to life, let me share with you one of my long time work principles. I always try to learn to love my work by ONLY looking at the pleasant points. A substantial part of this is looking at my colleagues in a pleasant way. I may not love them, but I’m thinking that maybe this is one small way of at least trying.

love_all_you_needYes, there are people who do not smile like their facial muscles will crack if they do. Or, some may not even treat us right. Some may even make you feel like you’re just a decoration to the chair that you’re sitting on so what can simple pleasantness do? Yeah, I strongly believe that we cannot change people. Changing oneself is a decision that only we, ourselves can make. Mahatma Gandhi once said that we must become the change that we want to see in the world and I believe in it one hundred per cent. I think the only thing we can do is to initiate the change by practicing it and by subsequently infecting other people. Oh, did I really use the word infect? But really, smiles are contagious and pleasantness can infect!

Okay, the right word is INFLUENCE.

This is just like selling something. There’s feasibility and marketing studies, branding, pricing, a whole lot of procedures. And then advertising and launching. I do understand that improving oneself for everyone’s benefit is not easy. I’ll leave the studying and logistics to you. I’ll just inject something on the advertising thing.

One of the most tested and effective ways to promote a product or service is to get credible models. So, why not be that model? Sell the change! Spread the wonderful atmosphere that can slowly but surely lead us to love. I think, though in a very itty bitty tiny way, your concern and effort to build a wonderful office atmosphere for everyone’s benefit is already a leaf that sprouts from the tree of love.

LOVING STRANGERS
In a world where people are in a constant struggle for money-gaining, power, and materialism, how can we ever really love strangers? To help us understand and care for humankind in general, there are guidebooks, philanthropists, TV shows, foundations, charity works, religious organizations and so on, and so forth. These are all mighty and noble works of love, I may say. Hats off to all of you! I can never really put my admiration into words. But let me just dig on the question: how we are going to spread our concern for the brothers and sisters that we don’t really know if we are just having enough blessings for ourselves? I am going to answer this question with the most repeated, all-time favorite answer: share small things, love in small ways.

There’s no such thing as “I want to love by means of helping but I’m just so hopeless!” There is no such thing as hopeless. I’m telling you, one day, when I finally get my big bag of guts from a store that I still cannot find now, I will go to Mr. Webster and ask him to scratch the word hopeless out in the dictionary! Remember that a dead clock can still give us the right time TWICE A DAY! And we are not even dead clocks! We are humans and we are alive!

Keep in mind that it won’t matter if you have produced a huge fire or a little spark. What will substantially matter is the intention you had to create fire and how you gave your best in doing it. Big fires were once small and even huge explosives have to be lighted up by small matches or lighters. They all started with little sparks.

Manuel Family

Manuel Family

Loving, especially strangers, is really not an easy thing to do. Even innocent little Nancy in her prayer is having a hard time loving the three other members of her family. What she doesn’t know is that by saying the prayer, she was already loving all of them! She is trying! She acknowledged the difficulty and said she’s claiming that she’s not successful in it. There is already an intention to love. But let’s also take into consideration that Nancy is a child and she doesn’t have a full grasp on things yet.

For us, older people, we have a better understanding of the world so we cannot just say that we want to help and we want to love. Let us do something about the intention. We are all capable. Words are cheap and actions are priceless. Let us try to prepare a world of love for our children to thrive in. Let love be our legacy.

Let’s hear and feel some LOVE. Let’s hear what LOVE is in the eyes of:

BJ Santos

BJ Santos

Sonny and Betchy Manuel, CFC FFL
“Love is denying oneself for the sake of others.”

Felix and Bhing Barraca
“Love is giving all you’ve got, no matter what. We see it more of a self-sacrifice, not only to your wife, kids, relatives or friends but most importantly for your relationship with God.”

Ellen Isip
“LOVE for me is an emotion of strong affection and personal attachment to another person. It has to be selfless, unconditional and forever. Love should be experienced and not just felt. With the MAGIC of LOVE, different aspects can be attained between any relationships. Every moment gives us a new chance to say to anyone ‘I love you’ – not just by merely saying it, but with our gestures and actions.”

Bobot Isip
“Love truly becomes Love when you encounter GOD, the Almighty, in your life, with a forgiving heart ready to bury the hatchet of unimaginable wounds inflicted in one’s life. Love teaches ones heart to clear the past hurts and heal that wounds for the glory of the extraordinary Man who died on the Cross because of our ineffable sins.”

Tristan and Angel Capalla

Tristan and Angel Capalla

Tristan and Angel Capalla, CFC FFL
“Love gives you a sense of purpose, fulfillment, and peace. It is giving all you got and not expecting for anything in return.”

Andra Manuel, KFL
“Love means a cool pop & mom plus caring kuya, diko, ate & diche.”

BJ Santos, SFL
“Love is where you share your feelings and blessings with people regardless of who they are, what they are or where they’re from.”

Bea Isip
“Love is when I always make special cards for my Mommy and Daddy and tell them how much I love them!”

Beverly Laurente, SFL
“For me love is blind. It can sometimes hurt but above all love is life.”

Felix and Bhing Barraca

Felix and Bhing Barraca

Tintin Isip
“The true meaning of love is found in the word “unconditional”. Love is not only loving someone with his goodness and kindness but through his failures, faults, weaknesses and all. Love is learning to see the beauty in everything.”

Well, I am just so loved to get all these wonderful words in such a short span of time. God bless you all!

It’s really hard to stop talking about love but I have to force myself.

Let me just share some more thoughts.

Isip Family

Isip Family

If you want to love, work on it. Firmly stand for it. Remember that people who cannot stand for something will fall for just anything. Don’t join the ill-kneed group. Start with a simple prayer. Love and improve yourself, it will make you totally capable. Have concern for strangers. Support charitable activities. Treasure and love the environment. Care. Volunteer. Write and inspire. Pray for everyone. Spread love!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Jeannie Luna-Tan

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