Yes Virginia, There is a St. Valentine

Bahram R. Shahmardaan, PhD

Yes, Virginia, there is a St. Valentine! Even though you have not met St. Valentine, you meet his spirit every day through the love that people share with you. Indeed, sharing love is so essential to learning and growing that many societies have set aside February 14th each year as a special day to commemorate St. Valentine as the love channel that inspires us to shower each other with goodwill, gifts, and laughter.

Love is the source of all life and it is love that keeps the spirit of St. Valentine and all of us alive. Love inspires us to overcome obstacles that we create for ourselves or those that others may place in our way. It is love that makes life worth living and it is love that will allow you to face and overcome the challenges of life with a smile. It is love that will make you attractive to others and draw them to you, and it is the love that you share with others that creates the bond that helps society and civilization endure. Within all of us there is the nucleus of love, and so we all need to share love and naturally respond to it. Celebrating Valentine's Day helps us do that.

St. Valentine's spirit has always been around and his Spirit is very much alive. Every year we are inspired by the Spirit of St. Valentine to take a day off from hating and hurting each other and use it to shower each other with love and gifts instead. Some people, who ordinarily may not have the courage to express their love for fear of being misunderstood, are inspired by Valentine's Day to get the nerve to express their love. It is very strange indeed that whereas some people have no problem expressing negative emotions such as anger and hate, and are not afraid of being misunderstood when giving negative opinions, quite a few of us are definitely afraid of being misunderstood when we express love. So Valentine's Day serves a very useful purpose in that it helps some of us to overcome the obstacles within us that prevent us from expressing love.

Is there any reason why we should not continue to shower each other with affectionate love after Valentine's Day? When we share love with someone else, the love within us does not diminish but the quantum of love increases. Love is the most powerful force in the Universe because the more we give love, the more it grows.

So, Virginia, on this Valentine's Day, become a channel of love and share kind thoughts, words, and actions with your friends, neighbors, strangers, and especially your perceived enemies. Why your enemies? Because no one needs love more than those who have none to give. When you become a love channel and shower love upon those who hate you, they may befriend you and become transformed into channels of love themselves. Thus hate will have one less channel to flow through, and the quantum of love in the world we share will increase.

Yes, Virginia, there is a St. Valentine, and his spirit will continue to live and eventually engulf the world. Please continue to celebrate St. Valentine's Day and, better still, share love with others every day throughout the year.

Bahram R. Shahmardaan