Without love what is there?
Who will care?
Or who will have the energy to share?
Without love what is the point?
You might as well smoke a joint,
And escape the world you see before you,
Without out love where will be the solutions?
For the problems of the mind,
How will we have time to be kind?
But “With Love” you might care,
And become aware,
Of the sunlight that shines above the cloud,
With love you need not stand proud,
For you will be as humble as a brick,
And your mood can change quick,
Into one of warmth and peace,
Problems tend to cease,
And ‘Ironed’ will be the crease,
And to have ‘love’ you do not need a significant other,
For we all have a mother or a brother,
Or someone you can call a friend,
This is more important in the end,
For even our most treasured lover,
Will still be a friend undercover,
So cherish what you have on valentines day,
Tell those you love, how they move you in a very special way,
And most of all don’t be afraid to say,
Those three words that are more precious than gold,
Spanning our inner sentiment from young to old,
Requiring one to be ever so bold,
“I LOVE you”
– Happy Valentines Day Everyone!
14-2-12 Well it’s valentines day again and I wanted to put out a universal poem on one of my favourite topics – Love!
I’ve always kind of liked Valentines day, not for the commercial fiasco that it has become, but rather for the commemoration of one of the things which I believe is so important in life – Love.
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just tell people that we cared about them whenever we felt this way instead of taking it for granted (or “assuming”) they already know this?
Unfortunately the word “Love” has become a four-letter word in many societies on the whole, where it is used with more caution than other four letter words that don’t signify the same thing. Don’t get me wrong I’m all good with popular culture, but I sometimes wonder what the world would be like if it were “cool” to talk more about love in regular conversations rather than just reserving it for the lyrics of songs or poetry (not to discount these mediums in anyway – because I think they are great!).
I guess part of this situation, as I see it, is to do with the language of love in the English language. The most common use of the word relates to love in the context of a romantic relationship. This is of course perhaps the way Valentines day is celebrated today, but I see it another way – or at least this poem does. Perhaps valentines day could be an opportunity for us to show that we care about people to the people we care about? And it doesn’t have to be in a commercial way, for today we live in the age of communication technology (on steroids!). A simple text message or email, or tweet or Post – or direct message to those we care about most. Wouldn’t it be great to be part of or promote a culture of showing that we care? As John Lennon so beautifully put it… Imagine?
I remember back when I first discovered what Valentines day, I was at the primary level (age 8) when I was going to an international school in Saudi Arabia. At this particular school there were people from all around the world and there was one girl who was American who gave all the boys in the class a card. Why, we all thought? Because it was “valentines day”! I think we all had to learn about the St Valentines and had a small session on it, but all the boys were more interested in seeing what was written on the card. We were all looking to see what she wrote and I remember the message I got was “I like you”, I was so happy! Then I looked over and saw my mate’s card, who was a bit of a ladies man (ie, all the girls use to write love hearts next to his name on their doodle pads!) and his card said “I love you!”. I’m sure her mum had told her to give all the boys a card and I think it was really nice gesture. Most of us had a British background and I don’t think Valentines day had become so big at that stage (unlike the post-global commercialization situation of today) – but I thought it was so nice that nobody (at least in the boys group) felt excluded. I always took that with me as something that I would be aspire to be into when it came to acts of kindness – “inclusivity”.
Years later in Sri Lanka, when I was doing field work in Anuradhapura on one Valentines day, I felt the urge to send text messages to all my female friends wishing them a happy valentines day, but I thought it would be fun to also say this in Sinhalese. The only problem was I didn’t even know the proper term, or if such a phrase existed in rural Sri Lanka. The only way to find out was to ask the cook of our study house, Anusha, what the term was. Anusha had also become a friend who taught me much about the culture that I was living in, at least through the eyes of someone from the village. She taught me the phrase “Suba Arderaya Wante dinya” which I used in my text messages. The replies I received reflected much much amusement, and it was only when I later checked with the research assistants I worked with what the exact meaning of the words was. They literally translated to “Happy Lovers Day”, and some people seem to think that this was only reserved for couples who had a significant other! Ooops!
So does love translate differently in different languages? Perhaps. I know that in Pali, a dead language that is used in Buddhist philosophy, there are four words that describe different kinds of sentiments that all come under the umbrella of love, these are “Metta, Karuna, Mudita, and Upeksha”. It’s worth looking into because the definitions of these are all very interesting. But in this philosophy there is also the talk of one of the higher forms of love being to do with the “friendship” element of Love – after all I feel that love is the basis of friendship. I guess this is the concept that is perhaps one of the most important messages of the Poem. We all have friends if we are humble enough to accept the friendship that is offered to us.
When was in rural Sri Lanka I remember not being surrounded by my old friends, but I had made new friend and with this came the love that friends had. Adding to this was the background level of caring that existed in the whole community where I was working – something that I often experience in smaller rural places no matter where they are in the world (a least this goes for my experience of travelling and living in many places around the world). So my reflections are that love “is” usually there if we are willing expand our horizons of what it means and active enough to look around. Even although I am currently blessed with a loving partner on this Valentines day, it hasn’t always been that way – but even when I was without a partner, I am glad I was able to learn how to be ‘with love’ by feeling the love that was around. This was reflected in my “Valentines Day Wish” Poem from 2 years ago, when I was “single and looking” (using facebook terminology!).
So happy valentines day and enjoy it just as you would any other day – but most of all don’t be afraid to say “I love you” – or at least show it to those who mean the most to you!
(image taken from http://weheartit.com/entry/23064090)