I skipped my weekly column last week because it fell due on Valentine’s Day. I agree that this statement can be interpreted in many ways, but the simple explanation is I didn’t want those who read my column regularly, to be away from their valentines even for the 6-7 mins it takes to read my column. That time is precious according to Irving Wallace. Also, it would be a precursor to hate. But more about that later in the column. This column is also late in the week – although I love writing it, I hate deadlines. I love to be alive!
Perhaps putting out the column on time would have been asking for too much from Valentines in the light of a circular from the Animal Welfare Board, which was subsequently withdrawn after they realized that they were asking for too much – much more than me!
The circular was an abovination for many, in terms of the equivalence it hinted at, and of course, the possible consequences that could include more than a pat on the back that we all long for on this day!
Meanwhile, a huge earthquake on the Turkish-Syrian Border killed around 45000 people though the toll may be far above the quantity of rubble it created. Many of them didn’t get a chance to think about their valentines, while others thought about them and looked for them as much as they could or were allowed to under the rubble. And some will think about them forever, not knowing actually where they have gotten to. Probably a better place without their valentine? It is quite possible that this was the last thought before the quake struck. Many of us are in that space; when the separation occurs, we wonder what might have been!
This is what love can do – make you think that you can live alone when you don’t have to! And when you have to, just the opposite. It’s a contradiction in terms of what it offers – on the one hand, goosebumps, and on the other, life bumps. Is that why it is to be celebrated, with Chocolates and Cake and Flowers and a candlelight dinner? All the sweet things that one can think of in a bitter world? Maybe, because, over time, the sweetness has dissipated more than a wee bit! and it needs compensation at least for a day. On other days – say no to chocolates, not your valentine! You know the consequences!
Sweet! But 4 letter words have a habit of getting twisted and interchanged by their sayers depending upon their e-motion: (its emotion’s modern avatar fuelled by social media!) They soon become nay-sayers and move from one four-letter word to another – Love to Hate. They say that they are two sides of the same coin – therefore, of the same value! Does the head have the same value as the tail?
Why does one turn into the other? And do these opposite emotions that cannot exist without the other – it’s true you know… come from the same source? Love they say comes from the heart. Does hate too? Or does it come from the head, the stomach, or a combo? I ask this question because Head Weight fuels it and weighs it down, while love always lets you soar on its wings!
“I hate this show,” “I hate that person,” “I hate these people” – hate is linear – from one to many – A check on WhatsApp Groups – Classmates groups, work groups, and so many others will reveal fault lines just as strong as they were beneath Turkey and Syria. But those were made by a higher power to curb hate perhaps. Not sure. But they sure bring out the best and worst in each of us. While Love-Hate fault lines are made by man to increase it? Friends have become enemies and while enemies have bonded together, friends are in disarray! The message? hate binds, love separates, though the texts (other than political science texts) tell you otherwise!
Love is disparate and therefore unique but lives in isolation! Hate is steadfast, and can only be reinforced, while love is vulnerable to circumstances. So many messages, about these two emotions – love and hate – both conscious and unconscious, that we have become unconscious perhaps. And it does require Valentine’s day to re-ignite our consciousness, not conscience! Huge difference if you can find it.
But don’t say all those negative things about hate I tell myself. You will begin to hate yourself! And it is mostly that we hate because we hate ourselves. After all, Somebody has wronged us (in our perception), Someone is better off than us, Someone is enjoying more than us, and Someone seems to have it all, while we suffer.
Love is all about appreciation! And maybe those who hate, don’t appreciate themselves enough because they focus on their limitations and the limits imposed upon them. Valentine’s day is not about dry dates, even if they are an exclusive offering! It is about self-appreciation – reminding you it’s time for a date with yourself. Self-Appreciation is what can turn a hate-filled being, and therefore a hateful being into a lovely, sweet date. Not dated, and dateable too! So, save the date February 14!
All of this is too complex an equation to solve? Well, hate is complex. How can you hate when you are filled with love? And how can you not be filled with love? It’s an instinct – first for yourself and then for others. If there is a vacuum, order a vacuum cleaner online. Because vacuums tend to fill up quickly with hate!
Self-love may seem narcissistic, but it is not. It is an enabler, a facilitator of greater things and a better world! It is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support one’s physical, psychological, and spiritual growth. Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others which is what most hate-filled beings do – they love numbers!
All this reflection, because I was without a date on 14 February 2023, I saved the date for my column. But she didn’t show up, worried about the backlash I guess. But no worries. I will remember it for the lessons I learnt and shared with you. Whether you learn from them or not… well, that’s your date with destiny!
Photo by Zach Vessels on Unsplash
This Article is written in a lighter vein. It hopes to bring a smile to your face, and you must not ascribe motives to its contents. There is no connection to events and characters in real life and if perchance you find, or make a connection with any such real-life event or character, rest assured it’s purely coincidental.