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February 20, 2014, 12:00 AM

Valentine's Day

[Author unknown]

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage." ~ Lao Tzu

As Valentine's Day comes once again, talk of love is easy to find. Flowers and candy are sped through the streets, deliverers trying to find the intended destinations. Restaurants prepare for an influx of couples, while social networking and other websites prepare for the inevitable posts about how Valentine's Day is just a scam created by corporations to bleed America dry. 

It was not until around 1375 that Valentine's Day began to be associated with love, as it is today. Geoffrey Chaucer, the famed English poet who was known to take liberties when it came to history, may have been the one to create the holiday, as we know it today. In his work, "Parliament of Foules," Chaucer wrote, "For this was sent on Saint Valentine's day/ when every foul comes there to choose his mate." With those words, he linked a tradition of courtly love with the celebration of St. Valentine, and we have been following suit ever since.

While the holiday may feel corrupted in some ways, the meaning behind it is universal. It is a day to focus on love, regardless of one's relationship status. It is a day to step out, and take a stand. Whether that be simply voicing the love one has for their significant other, or coming out in support of the marginalized. Maybe it is just something in between.

Lao Tzu is right though. Deeply loving another gives one courage. Valentine's Day then can serve as a day to also examine who we love deeply, and what we can do for them to make this a better world; how we can take a stand along side them. It serves as a day to focus that courage one has, and move forward with justice. Because regardless of who we love, if there is injustice in this world, it effects us all. 


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