With Saint Valentine ready to pop out of the woodwork in a matter of days, some people begin to re-evaluate their present relationships or dream harder than ever before about finding Mr. or Ms. Right. John Lennon sang, “All you need is love” but is it really the be all end all of this equation? And if it is so, should we give any credit at all to Axl Rose’s, “Nothing lasts forever, even cold November rain”? Perhaps this subject matter is somewhat heavy for a Sunday afternoon.
When I was growing up in Latin America during the 80s and 90s, both in school and at home, my brother and I - like the rest of out schoolyard chums - were always taught that respect is everything. Respecting your elders, respecting women, respecting yourself, etc. Young boys that would get into an altercation during recess with a girl - a big no no - were regularly told: “You do not touch a woman, not even with a rose petal.” (Sounds much more poetic in Spanish, trust me). For some reason, the meaning of this expression was forever branded in my brain.
Due an upbringing I consider exceptional, I find it very easy to relate to people in any situation or circumstance, ready to dish out loads of respect. Interactions just have that natural flow, if you know what I mean. Treat others the way you expect to be treated. I have never been a person who enjoys playing mind games to come out on top at the cost of walking all over someone else or purposefully went out of my way to hurt others, especially those I care about. This is part of my core belief system, which I integrate on a daily basis both in professional and personal spheres. I enjoy people and always find positive things to see in others.
On Valentine’s Day, some couples decide to take the deep plunge and tie down a commitment to be married or start a life together in common law relationship. The euphoria surrounding those initial magical “lovey dovey” moments are so exciting and the sky is the limit. People refuse to look at themselves and the embodiment of their alliance as just another statistic doomed to fail. However, it appears marriages and unions are in a crisis mode these days, in my mind due to the lack of respect that should be innate in all of us - but it isn't.
Valentine’s Day can be more than just a commercial day where chocolates, roses and romantic dinners if we put our minds to it. It can be a time to renew vows and commitments and/or establish new ones detaching egos from the formula. When we are able to respect each other - husband, wife, friends, colleagues, bosses, etc – we are nurturing a plant that can grow into rewarding long-term relationships. Love cannot bare the fruits without respect and respect cannot exist without love.
Happy Valentine's Day to all!