Like so many holidays in the year, whether you buy into the commercial hype or not, Valentine’s Day offers the opportunity to pause, reflect on and appreciate the love in your life.
This morning, the YWCA hosted a special breakfast for people to do just that – to think about “brotherly love,” and the history of race relations in the
The Key Speaker, Thomas N. Todd, an accomplished civil rights attorney and contemporary of Martin Luther King, Jr., gave an impassioned, articulate and thought-provoking speech filled with valuable information, anecdotes, insights and humor.
Even his jokes gave one pause … “You know, Michael Jackson says, ‘It makes no difference if you’re black or white’ – but if you look at that dude, you can see he ain’t takin’ no chances!”
Despite the occasional levity, Todd’s message was serious – we must know and understand our history to create a better future.
The programming was a wonderful way to celebrate Valentine’s Day as well as acknowledge Black History month and honor what both of these designations stands for – love, unity, appreciation and understanding.
Think about that today as you walk past the cards, the candy and the flowers. Take a moment to appreciate all the love in your world – your family, friends and co-workers … and all the human connections in your life that make it worth living. Stop and consider the sacrifices and struggles that were necessary for you to have the simple rights and privileges that are commonplace now, such as the right to vote, or go to school, or own property.
Keep in mind that these rights are not universal – there are many places in the world where people don’t have access to clean drinking water, let alone enjoy freedom of speech or other basic civil rights. Saint Valentine (who married lovers despite a ban from the church) is remembered because he stood up for love. That’s what Valentine’s Day is really about – loving your fellow human beings. Of course, this may start with your boyfriend or girlfriend … but it continues from there. I challenge you to do something kind for someone you don’t know today – and be everyone’s Valentine.
Kudos to the YWCA for hosting such educational and enriching programming. If you are not familiar with the YWCA and their mission to eliminate racism and empower women, check them out – they do a lot of great work.
Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!