Love is All Around

While typically this movie is shown around the winter holidays, the opening to "Love Actually" is perfect frame work for my blog today and I wanted to share it.

Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling you’ll find that love actually is all around.
— "Love Actually"

This week is the week of Valentine's Day; the most commercialized, Hallmark driven, sweet-treat-candy-eatin' type of folks, florists favorite holiday of the year. It's easy for us single people to strongly dislike the holiday, but I think there's little reason to. Let me shed a little light on the history of Valentine's Day...

  • According to www.history.com, one of "The Legends of St. Valentine" dates back to 3rd century Rome. Valentine was a priest in the Catholic church. When Emperor Claudius II outlawed men from marrying because they were better soldiers when they were single, Valentine thought this was absurd and continued to marry lovers on the side. Claudius was not about this and ordered poor Valentine to death.

So our St. Valentine was about love and sacrifice, even if he was not the one looking to marry, he was doing this for the sacrifice of others.

I believe everyday that love is all around and that we can be conscious to make these sacrifices daily for others.

Coffee for the People

One of my favorite things that I have recently discovered has been at my favorite St. Louis coffee shop, "RISE Coffee House" located in the Grove area of the city. Inside of RISE, one can get locally roasted coffee, pastries, donuts and delicious teas. Also at RISE one can participate in the "Coffee for the People" Program (Check out #CoffeeForThePeople). This program allows you to buy a coffee for someone and pay it forward. You get to decorate a coffee sleeve for whomever you would like to have that coffee...for instance on Sunday I bought one that says "Free latte for any student with $30,000 + in loan debt". Everyone deserves a coffee to brighten their day.

When we see acts of kindness and simple sacrifices such as these, we can be reminded that love surrounds us. While it may not be the "Here's an Edible Arrangement with a balloon in your face" type love, it is love nonetheless. Love is a small donation to your favorite charity, love is the phone call to your best friend when you know he/she has had a rough day, love is sharing a slice of pizza with a new friend and more. I have found love in my life in so many ways and have found ways to put it forth into the world in so many tiny ways.

At "RISE Coffee House"

This Valentine's Day I challenge you all to pay it forward, make a small sacrifice, after all, isn't that what the history of it all is about? "Love Actually" is right, love is all around and you too can be a part of that.