Happy Valentine’s Day to our global community!
For more than 1500 years, we’ve been celebrating Valentine’s Day in one way or another. Since the middle ages, it’s commonly been a holiday celebrating love and affection between intimate companions.
According to History.com, one legend contends that Saint Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men — his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.
Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons where they were often beaten and tortured.
According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first ‘valentine’ greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl — who may have been his jailor’s daughter — who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed ‘From your Valentine,’ an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It’s no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France. Today, Valentine’s Day ranks second only to Christmas for the largest amount of greeting cards sold.
Regardless of the history, the most important part of Valentine’s Day is the sentiment behind the holiday rather than the commercialism we have today. It’s all about the love…. and not just the love between two sweethearts. It’s also about a more universal or global love of one another. It’s an unconditional love for mankind.
My friend and today’s Inspirational Luminary, Dr. Mani, shares this kind of love better than anyone I know. He’s quiet a remarkable man. He’s a Pediatric Cardiologist and the founder of a non-profit in Chennai, India called the Children’s Heart Foundation. His special project this year is the 47 Hearts Tweetathon.
If you go to Twitter, you’ll find @DrMani busy tweeting today- for 24 hours straight to raise funding and awareness for his passion- saving children’s lives. And, a little bit goes a long way! Dr. Mani has assembled a team who donates their services so that $1000 will pay the costs to perform life-saving heart surgery for a child in Chennai. Seriously, $1000 to save a life? This is a no-brainer.
Dr. Mani has a special place in my heart, as The Children’s Heart Foundation is one of the recipients of funding from our upcoming Global Hug Tour. Find out how you can help by donating to save the life of a child.
There is no greater love than our love of our fellow man. This unconditional gift of care and love is the best Valentine’s Day gift we can give to one another. And whether you donate to this cause or shovel snow for a neighbor, find a way to show your love today, knowing that you are loved for just being you.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
With love and hugs,