Why I Will Not Celebrate Valentines Day

Interesting title, right? Maybe?

It is true though. When I date, am engaged, married, I will not celebrate Valentine’s Day. What is my reasoning? Glad you asked.

On approximately, or traditionally, the 14th of February back in the days of the Roman rule, Claudius, a Roman priest named Valentine was killed. Why? Well, he disobeyed the laws of the empire. You see, Claudius decreed that soldier were not allowed to be married or have a family. These were distractions to his troops and reasons for them not to enlist in his army. Valentine decided that this was ridiculous, regardless of precedence of other, even more ancient nations. He proceeded to perform wedding ceremonies for soldiers. He willfully disobeyed the law. I do not know if he was a born-again Christian, but he claimed the title of priest which meant he should have been studying the Word of God. Jesus taught obey the government if the government did not order you to sin against God. God inspired Paul to write that it is ok to not be married. So, my very simplified conclusion (drawn from other passages than just my references to Jesus and Paul): Valentine was going against God by going against his government. Why honor that?

(For anyone who might be saying, well, you’re not Catholic, so why would you honor or remember a saint anyhow: I honor and respect with remembrance those who are deserving of it. I do not worship or pray to them. Days meant for remembering saints are viewed the same day as remembering great world leaders – Washington, King Jr. – if I respect them and their actions. )

Followed by the next, even a more simpler of a reason: I do not need a special day to show someone how much I love them. I’m hoping/expecting my husband will get me chocolate on many days of the year, not just on the 14th of February.

I’m not going to take the fun away from my kiddos when they’re in school. I think it is good for kids, who are still learning social and life skills, to have a day set aside for showing love for others through flowers and those cute little cards you fold with stickers. I’m thinking they’re probably going to have lessons at home the days surrounding Valentine’s day on the different words used in the Bible for love.

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I got the Power

I’ve been thinking about my last post, and I discovered I have quite a bit more to say. Lucky you get another post about words, but this one is about the power, the significance of words.

I love reading classic literature. My brother got me a copy of Beowulf for Christmas, and I am one of the very, very few people in our family and our groups of friends who actually enjoys that book. For the most part. I take issue with how the monks copied it, but that is a different post. Anyhow. I love reading the descriptions, the conversations, the carefully chosen words. Writings back then and up until as recently as last century actually had meaning, well thought out purpose behind each and every word. The writers found creative ways to paint a picture of the scene. Nowadays, we get a description of a body of water on a sunny portrayed as

The bright sunlight bounced off the waves making it hard to tell what shade of                   blue it was.

Writers of old had a more poetic way of describing the scenario to where it might have read something more like

As the sunbeams danced across the lake, the color of the waves appeared to                         glisten as diamonds rather than the sapphire hues we had come to associate                       with the home of the nymphs.

There are many reasons why appreciation and quality of writing has gone so far downhill – school systems, technology, the general attitude of “I need it now, faster!” I think people have forgotten the power of the pen, the power of the written word.

This culture has also forgotten the power of words spoke. I try very hard to not throw out phrases such as “I promise,” “I swear,” or “I vow.” I like to honor my word, so when I say “I swear,” I try to the best of my ability to follow through with whatever it is I have sworn to do. Others do not have the same respect for themselves or for what they are saying. Promises are made and broken without second thought. Vows are sworn – often in a church or courthouse – and broken over time. People no longer think before they speak.

Between abbreviations and emojis, some people do not even know how to speak. When I was in third grade, for whatever reason, my entire class thought it would be fun to copy the dictionary. We were not being punished. Our teacher truly had no idea what to make of our goal, but she obviously did not try to stop us. By the end of the school year, Our class of 25 third-graders had several handwritten copies of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. In high school, my class, much smaller, still had a fascination with words and dictionaries. We went through dictionaries when we finished our geometry homework and found words none of us had previously been able to define. The majority of our peers thought we were crazy for our habit of flipping through dictionaries, but we did not care. We also received higher scores on standardized testing throughout the years on reading comprehension because we could understand the entire sentences and were not just guessing.

Love and/or appreciation of words and the power they hold is now a foreign concept to many. How do we change that? Summarizing is a great skill, very appreciated in the workplace. This culture has the art of summarizing pretty well grasped. How do we re-embrace the skill of description, the ability to comprehend what writers of old were saying without a translator or cliff-notes?