Special days come around quite often. We just celebrated Valentine’s Day earlier this week, and the upcoming Monday is President’s Day. While it is tempting to think that these special days are mainly for retail’s benefit, or to give us an extra holiday from school and work, they are really more important than that. We should recognize these days for their true meaning.
Valentine’s Day is all about love and relationships. If you didn’t show your loved ones what they mean to you on this day set aside for this, you missed an opportunity. While some do bemoan Valentine’s Day and refuse to participate in what they see as just a poorly fabricated holiday that benefits retailers, Valentine’s Day is more than that. While you may have supported the florists and chocolatiers, perhaps you were more creative and chose a gift that was not one given by the masses. Regardless, how you showed your affection to loved ones is not the point, as long as you did. It would be a shame if you let Valentine’s Day pass and failed to show your affection for your loved ones. And although a tangible gift was not necessary to do so, the giving of a tangible gift is the more common route chosen. Now that Valentine’s Day 2022 has passed, you have a full year to prepare for next year’s Valentine’s Day.
Presidents’ Day is an American holiday, established in 1885 to honor the February 22nd birthday of our first President, George Washington. In 1971, the holiday was moved to the third Monday in February, creating more three-day weekends for workers. At that time what had been known as Washington’s Birthday became Presidents’ Day, honoring all presidents. Also, some states have expanded the celebration to include honoring others than presidents, those considered leaders past and present. The day is also specifically targeted to give retail the opportunity to have Presidents’ Day sales. Car dealerships in particular have long weekend sales, although that may not be the same this year with the shortage of cars to sell.
Many people in our country are polarized, especially over politics and vaccines. Perhaps we should remember the words of our first president, George Washington. Washington left us many lessons after he left office, perhaps the most profound found in these words, “Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all.”
Peace and harmony can be found again among all nations and all people, if we are willing to set aside our differences and grant others the respect and dignity which we all deserve. Perhaps we can combine the lessons found in Washington’s words with the love for others expressed on Valentine’s Day.
Let’s let love, good faith, and justice for all guide our hearts and our actions.