Take a New Look at Love This Valentine’s Day

 

April is supposed to be the cruelest month, as penned by poet T.S. Eliot in “The Waste Land.”

Maybe so, but many of us would nominate February for the cruelest month title, both for its calendar position (just after New Year’s) and its weather (gray and cold). But February has an ace in the hole: Valentine’s Day.

What could be warmer, brighter and, well, lovelier, than a day devoted to love? But is it always about Eros – romantic love – as we tend to define it now?

Maybe the ancient Greeks had something when they used four – not one – words to connote different types of love: Eros, of course; agape, which is a deeper, selfless type of love; philia, meaning friendship; and storge, the affection parents have for their children.

These days we tend to get caught up in the trappings of Valentine’s Day – shopping for gifts, planning date nights, and buying chocolate everything. Why not look beyond the traditional and consider those other kinds of love?

For example: Make a point of telling your friends how much they mean to you. Or try agape and make a charitable contribution in the name of love to people in need. You frequently tell your kids and spouse how much you love them (if not, you should), but storge can also mean telling your parents how much you love them.

Valentine’s Day can be special, not just another buying opportunity. This year, why not make like the ancient Greeks and spread your love around?