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Monday, February 14, 2011

All You Need Is Love... and a Little Compassion

1 Peter 3:8 " sympathetic... be compassionate."

Valentine's Day... a dreaded "Hallmark holiday" for some, a lovely excuse to dote on your sweetheart for others... Whichever side of the rosy-red fence you fall on, you have to admit the polarizing effect of this fourteenth day of February. You either love it or hate it.

Today I got to hear all the adorable details of how one of my coworkers got engaged over the weekend. I was ridiculously excited, gushing and cooing and ooohing and aaahing. Of course, it was easier to be happy for her since I already have a sweetheart of my own. But if this engagement had happened several (read: five) years ago, I would have probably been all bitter and jealous and turned about twenty shades of green with envy, thinking it would never happen to me, and why wasn't I lovable? Was it the violent mood swings or my deep-seated psychological issues? Was it my obsessive fear of commitment or my lack of clothing and makeup skills? Or all of the above? What was keeping me from being that girl sporting the diamond ring?

Well, now that I'm an old married woman (of almost seven months), I realize more than ever that humans in every imaginable life situation have it harder than most people ever realize. It is hard being single, let alone on Valentine's Day. It is also hard being engaged. Weddings do not plan themselves. And finally, although the single folks might dispute this point, it is hard being married. My point is that nobody has it easy. We each have a battle to fight, and a little compassion can go a long way.

I have always loved this quote: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." While the source is disputed, the truth is not.

Today is Valentine's Day. Whether you enjoy every minute of the sweet, candy-hearted chaos or think the whole thing is a bitter reminder of sour grapes, remember to be kind and considerate of those around you. For the married folks, this means don't endlessly flaunt your Valentine gifts. For the single folks, this means don't begrudge others the pleasure of a romantic holiday. There are no "easy" lives. Everyone has his own battle to fight. Whether this day has been awesome or awful for you, be kind. Be sympathetic. Be compassionate.


  1. Thanks, Jon. I get tired of hearing people from all sides treating each other so roughly. Gentleness is underrated nowadays, but maybe that makes it all the more important.