While flying through Dallas this week I overheard a number of fellow travelers discussing the upcoming Valentine’s holiday. Some lamented the “Hallmark Holiday” as an obligatory and forced expression of love. Others excitedly wondered what their significant others had planned. Some even squirreled away wedding rings during overly flirtatious discussions at 35,000 feet. One very old woman spoke loudly on her cell as we walked the jetway, yelling, “It’s been 50 years Jack so just figure it out for yourself!”. I laughed as she told me that her husband was a moron about Valentine’s Day.
As someone who travels a fair amount and meets a wide variety of people, I often wonder what fuels millions to get on the daily treadmill and hit the start button every morning. I find that people these days are pretty unhappy, do not enjoy their work, have short attention spans and very little time for themselves. But despite this, I also find that most have a tremendous compassion for others and a generous spirit of giving.
So in honor of Valentine’s Day, I have a simple plea – be passionate about something. Anything!
I don’t think it’s reasonable for you to expect to be gaga about your job. It’s work, so set the love bar lower and maybe, just maybe, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Instead, find something that fulfills you personally. Something that challenges you in a positive way. Something that helps you get through work and makes you smile. This might be your children. It might be gardening. Hell, it might be blogging! Whatever it is, throw yourself into it with abandon and enjoy.
This isn’t meant to be a rah-rah-new-age-BS “love life and yourself” kind of post (maybe it’s too late). Instead, I just want us to revive the kind of caring we witness during disasters. It should not take an earthquake, a hurricane or some other natural (or unnatural) event to wake us from our walking coma. Life’s too short for that.
If there’s nothing else you should learn from the rituals of Valentine’s Day, this is it. Take a little time to show you care and you’ll reap the rewards. Ignore it and you’ll pay the piper (and believe me, that can be one angry and disappointed piper).
So have a chocolate, enjoy a candlelight dinner, smell the roses and remember this plea. And if you care to, drop a comment, share your passion and let’s keep the conversation going.