By Mercy Hill
If you are in the month of February, there comes a day celebrated for love and that day is Valentine's Day. If you only wait for this day to come so that you can show love to people, you are missing a part of life that should be valued for more than once yearly.
The expression of love to another is not reserved for a single day or for a special event or occasion like a birthday anniversary. The celebration of love is more about how you live each day with the people you love and care for.
The gestures of love not only communicates our feelings to others but also reflects our desire to do whatever it takes to make people around us happy.
In this week's inspirational digest, we were able to sample opinions of people cut across age, gender and marital status who bared their minds on Valentine's Day Celebration and how they felt the day should be celebrated.
Rev. Fr. Obinna Dike- A Catholic Priest of Awka Diocese
There are so many ways of celebrating love which people associate with Valentine. When we talk about Valentine's Day Celebration, we mean the valentine model of love. In this model of love, three things are involved: understanding, sacrifice and sincerity of heart. So, the valentine model of love means a person going beyond themselves, being bold and courageous to do what is good to be done in a Christly way, because Christ came to sacrifice everything just for us, not minding what people were saying. He was more interested in trying to win as many people as possible to the Heavenly kingdom.
Valentine also did that for somebody who ordinarily wouldn't have earned such level of sacrifice and today we are celebrating it because he had gone the extra mile and people everywhere emulate him. That is the Valentine way of celebration.
So, my message for young people is that in every love, you need something that attracts you. You need to go a little bit to the higher level. For the younger generation, they just stop at the level of attraction, forgetting it goes beyond that. Despite the euphoria of love messages, trending things, gifts and all, you need to have this sincerity of heart, that if you love somebody, you get into that person's life and influence it positively.
Mrs Uche Amunike-27 years in marriage & counting
Valentine is a lot of things to different people. When I was younger, I knew it was something a lot different for me. But right now, I see it as a day to show love but to people who need love, for example, motherless babies, the disabled. Also, families should celebrate love together, if they are all available. I have a family, unfortunately my kids are all scattered in different schools, I now live alone in the house with my dear husband of twenty-seven years. We could decide to spend the night out, eat out or something. But what my heart tells me is that I need to show love to people who don't have anybody to show them love. I intend to visit the prisons and the motherless babies' home.
Another thing, sharing love is not a one-day thing, you receive and share love every day. You don't need a partner to celebrate love, all you need is to be happy and be a source of love to yourself.
Mrs Angel Nwokolo - Newly wedded bride
Once you hear the word Valentine, what comes to your mind is love. St. Valentine sacrificed his life for those he loved. These days however, people have turned it around to be a day just to have sex and fun. When I was single, I celebrated valentine by sharing flowers to people around me. Though, you must not restrict the celebration to people you think love you but extend it to those you perceive to be your enemies, only then can you teach them how to love.
As a married woman now, this is the first Valentine celebration with my hubby and I know Nigerians don't value flowers, so I plan to (though it's a secret but I will let it out) decorate our bedroom with roses. Our beddings will also be decorated with flowers, then, I will drop my hubby's gift on the cabinet close to the bed and I will await his return from the office.I know for sure that he is also planning something for our first Valentine together, but I don't know what it would be.
For the singles, you don't need to have a partner to celebrate or be happy, you only need yourself and everyone around you to be happy. Go out, put smiles on someone's face, visit orphanages, share love to friends and foes alike.
Mr. Ossy Onuko - Married
Valentine is a season of love, a season when we show empathy and concern towards one another especially the needy. It's not entirely the needy but also lovers. It's a time when lovers express love in its entirety. For me, that day, I would be championing a cause that would make available the purchase of one hundred WAEC forms for young people who are unable to buy the WAEC forms. Through this, I would be able to affect lives.
You must not have a partner to celebrate valentine, you can touch the lives of people around you in positive ways.
Michael Eluma- in a relationship
It's a time we remember an important saint, Valentine, who died for the love of humanity. So, we use the day he died as a medium to reach out to people we love in commemoration to St. Valentine. This year, my partner and I agreed to spend it at the pool and then spread our tentacles to reach out to the poor.
Goodness Chidimma Madueme- Single
I don't observe Valentine's Day I am so unperturbed about the day because I celebrate love every day of my life. I don't think I should wait for one day in 365 days to celebrate love. And thinking about what people, mostly the young ones, practice in the name of Valentine’s Day, I realise it has nothing to do with love.