“If love is in our hearts, every thought, word, and deed can bring about a miracle.” Thich Nhat Hanh
February 14th is a date synonymous with love, for this is when people the world over celebrate Valentine’s Day. It is a date which is dedicated to individuals expressing their love for one another in some meaningful way, though for many, that equates to spending a considerable amount of money. The National Retail Federation predicts that the average person will spend $130.97 on Valentine’s giving this year, in the form of cards, candy, flowers and gifts, with total spending reaching $18.6 billion.
Now I will not say that I don’t appreciate being the recipient of Valentine’s cards, flowers or gifts, but I see this day as another wonderful opportunity to express love beyond the confines of our immediate relationships. It is a time when we can open our hearts through service and/or financial contributions to benefit those less fortunate than ourselves. There are millions of people in the world who are suffering in some way, and there are so many ways that we can help to ease that suffering. If you feel so called, you can find a charitable organization (check out CharityNavigator.org) to which you can donate time, money or goods. Or, you can do what my sister and I did, and start your own non-profit to fulfill a specific “ministry” that speaks to your heart.
Whatever your Valentine’s Day plans or traditions, I wish you a full and open heart from which to give and receive love, from where you can create your own miracles.
Photo credit: © Sergiy Serdyuk – Fotolia.com