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EDITORIAL: True meaning of Valentine’s

Barbados Nation

EDITORIAL: True meaning of Valentine’s

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IN A WEEK where five teens, aged 15, 16 and 17, appeared before the Juvenile Court or the District “A’ Magistrates’ Court charged with offences ranging from using unlawful violence (which left an 18-year-old shot and reportedly paralysed) and possessing a 12-gauge shotgun, to badly beating another teen, it is easy to be despondent about Barbados’ future.

That a 20-year-old also went before the Magistrates’ Court this week charged with a bank robbery, while his parents were charged with handling the money from that crime, makes such apprehension understandable.

Questions abound: How the youth get so? Could this behaviour be due to a lack of parental and adult guidance? What role does our “wuk up” culture play in this? And how does the easy access to the Internet and cable television channels with their plethora of shows disseminating abusive language, violence, and defiance of authority contribute to this trend?

These are all relevant questions in need of urgent answers and immediate action.

But today, St Valentine’s Day – the internationally acknowledged day for lovers – we prefer to discuss the noble intent of this day, and hope that love would overcome the hearts and minds of those who perpetuate such violence.

Like millions around the world, many Barbadians will be celebrating this day by showering gifts and/or doing something special for their significant other, or the loved ones in their lives.

Several will be dressed in red and white, the traditional colours of the day, and some will greet total strangers with the refrain “Happy Valentine’s Day”.

Given the increasingly tight economic times in which we live, it is unclear how much the spending on this annual ritual to express affection and/or to impress someone who is the object of one’s love (or lust) will be affected.

For sure, though, it is clear that too many people seem to judge the proffering of a Valentine offering more by the value and sophistication of the item than by the personal sentiments behind the act.

As a result, people regrettably feel increasingly pressured to outdo themselves each year, often leading to an orgy of spending, which several among us cannot afford.

What is the sense of that?

Certainly, someone who cares about you would not want you to place yourself in a deeper financial hole just for the sake of expressing your love for them.

People need to realise that the sentiment behind the St Valentine’s Day celebration is about demonstrating appreciation for that special person in one’s life. That can be done in the most simple, yet affectionate way.

It is not about the most expensive gifts or the fanciest dinner. It could be as basic, though thoughtful, as a card detailing one’s feelings, or an evening together walking hand-in-hand on a beach.

The bottom line is that Valentine’s Day is about showing appreciation for that significant someone in your life who makes the stress and challenges of everyday living a lot more bearable because they are in your life.

Happy Valentine’s Day.