Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 02/12/2024
Saint Valentine lived in the Third Century and has been associated with courtly love. (He is also the patron saint of beekeepers and epilepsy, and is said to have cured people of the latter.) He was martyred by the Romans around 270. There is a story that he was killed on February 14, but had fallen in love with his jailer’s daughter, and left her a love note “from your Valentine.”
When I was in grammar school we would give Valentine’s cards to all our classmates and to the teacher. (I regret not having bought Hallmark stock in my youth.) We took the time to distribute them in class and read them. One classmate stole the cards I had given to my first girlfriend, Maryann Maher, and shared them with others, which was quite embarrassing. Such distribution wouldn’t be allowed today because someone, somewhere would be offended and threaten to sue.
When Maria and I were dating we gave each other extravagant cards of deep love. And while that sentiment hasn’t changed, we give each other funny cards today. (We also give each other cards from the dogs, which are especially good.)
I’ve always believed that it’s hard to love someone if you don’t love yourself. That’s neither narcissistic nor peculiar. If you don’t feel worthy of your own love, how can you expect someone else to feel that way about you?
Some religions embrace the day, others shun it. But I don’t think it’s about religion beyond the universal admonition, “Do unto others….” Love comes in varying forms and depths, varying intensities. But it’s most effective when it’s actually expressed. Even dogs know how to do that. But many of us seem to suffer from aphasia around the word, as if it’s an overcommitment and dangerous.
So, to all of you who follow my work and whose support I treasure, please accept my love not just on Wednesday, but ongoing. This is my card to you.
The heart has its reasons of which reason knows nothing. —Blaise Pascal
For it was not into my ear you whispered, but into my heart. It was not my lips you kissed, but my soul. —Judy Garland
I know of only one duty, and that is to love. —Albert Camus
We are most alive when we’re in love. —John Updike