Valentine’s Day has come and gone, but what the world still needs right now, more than anything, is a lesson in love. You might think I, as a 17-year old high school girl, might not know much about love, but I know a thing or two about a thing or two, and I know that I have seen and experienced a lot of love in my life.
I see it between my parents when they have their Friday night Dateline and pizza dates. I see it in my friends, when they drive from near and far just to comfort each other when one of us is sad or to celebrate our successes (see you at graduation, Paige from Texas!) I see it in the hallway, on the streets, on social media. And while I don’t see it in the heart and actions of our current president, I do see it in the rest of the world’s responses. When New Yorkers band together to remove anti-semitic graffiti on the subway, when lawyers wait in airport terminals to offer their services for free and when thousands of people march together to make their voices heard, that is love in its purest form.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been watching too much Glee lately or maybe it’s because I’m getting ready to leave the city so full of people and places that I associate with love in just a couple of months, but the concept has been on my mind recently. In a world that can be full of bigotry and pure hatred, love is so important to keep in mind. Children need to grow up knowing how to spread love to others, to their friends, family and especially people who they don’t even know. I want my little sister to grow up to be the kind of person who speaks for others when they can’t speak for themselves. I want my children to grow up knowing that every human is as equal as every other human. I want to grow old in a compassionate, interconnected, empathetic, honorable and loving world.
So teach your future children, teach each other, teach the world the value of love. Teach them by example, by standing up for others and by doing good things for the Earth, for yourself, for anyone you meet. Recycle, hold the door open for people, treat yourself to a nap or a chocolate cake after a long day. Love everything with your entire body, mind and soul. The world deserves it.