Valentine’s Day is an interesting holiday. If you really think about it, it falls in a strange time of year. February 14th (at least in our part of the world) falls into the time of year whereby the long winter months have been going on for a while and spring is coming around the corner. In the psychology field, there is a condition called Seasonal Affective Disorder (or SAD, good acronym). SAD is based in the neurological spaces of our brain whereby the amount of Vitamin D that our body takes in is depleted to lower levels and this causes us to feel more down (or sad).
Having sunshine allows us to actually feel better and more joyful as we go through our lives. Now, getting back to Valentine’s Day, it is interesting how the world wants to celebrate love at a time of year in which many of us just feel a little more down than normal. For individuals who are single (and want to be in a relationship), Valentine’s Day can tend to compile their sorrows together and make this time of year nearly unbearable.
However, what I saw around our school yesterday was not sorrow. There was such a great deal of joy. From the students that went around their classrooms sharing the valentines that they created with their classmates, or the ones that go up and down the hall to our office and share little treats with Mrs. D. and myself. Many just came down to say, “Happy Valentine’s Day!” This may also have been due to the rumour around the school that Mrs. D. was handing out free chocolate to everyone, but I digress.
The joy of receiving a small gesture of love (does not need to be romantic love) can light up our lives. The excitement from students in getting a small piece of paper (or cardstock) was enough to bring smiles and spread the love around JCCS.
So, what about you? How often do you take time to do small gestures of love for those around you? Have you considered that others around you (especially at this time of year) are experiencing SADness. It is amazing what can happen how little a thing can be and what joy it can spread.
Take time over the coming week to consider this and perhaps spread a little joy (and love) by shovelling your neighbour’s driveway, or perhaps purchasing a little gift and giving it away, or making a meal for someone. These are just a few ideas, but you can get creative.
I challenge our students at least weekly at our chapel services to consider others and bring spreaders of joy, not pain. What if we, the adults, the role models, showed them what this looks like. What if we were a culture of joy and love?