Monday, 13 February 2017

Putting the Love Back into Valentine's Day

I have always been struck by the commercialism of holidays such as Christmas, Easter, Halloween and of course Valentine's Day.  A few years back, I decided to try and subvert this by practicing a more conscious approach to celebrating them.  First, I started out making gifts by hand, then it grew into volunteering on these days –like when I went to The Gathering Place to socialize with the homeless or as one savvy nun put it "our guests".  On other occasions, it was supporting Trouble Bound Studio's $100 tattoo days to memorialize loved ones lost to cancer.  This past weekend they raised over $6,000 for Daffodil Place!
I've also supported refugee efforts here in St. John's.  At present, my kitchen floor looks like a warehouse as I am gathering household goods and personal care products for the St. John's Social Justice Network (as a comic book enthusiast, I am always tempted to call it the St. John's Social Justice League).

While I was waiting to go to a concert last week I was approached by a young musician who said, "you must come and hear me tomorrow!"  When I went to the ticket window I decided to buy extra tickets and pass them on to those music lovers behind me as a random act of kindness.  On Friday evening at The Yellow Belly I ended up with a drink that I had not ordered, which I passed on to a grateful student couple at the next table.

I know I will never have enough money to be a philanthropist and some days energy itself seems a scarce resource.  But these small acts seem to be a wise investment in positivity and community. And St. John's being the small city it is, where everybody seems to know everybody, I wasn't surprised to have two acquaintances chirp up in congratulations before I made it out of the restaurant.

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