February 14th, 2011

Be Nice to Everyone Day

I’ve mellowed on V-day over the years–if you dig pink cupcakes and mylar balloons, for yourself or a friend or significant other or anyone at all, I say go for it. I wish deli counter in my grocery store weren’t covered in such things, but in general I find them benign at worst, kinda sweet at best.

However, I am still not convinced we need a whole day to remind us to be nice to those, by most definitions of romantic love, we are already usually nice to. I see a much greater need for a “Don’t grunt at the bus-driver; say thank you!” day. Or a “Don’t let the door slam in the guy behind you’s face” day. A “Don’t shoot the messenger” day or a “Help out your colleagues!” day. A “Turn down the stero without the neighbours banging on the wall” or “Take out your earbuds at the cash register!” day. Sometimes I worry that Western society places such a great emphasis on couple-dom because that’s where the greatest return on investment is. Eternal love and happiness? Sure, I’ll make you that odd dessert you like. But a waitress I might never see again? Where’s the return on being civil to her?

So, I hope you have an awesome day today, and whatever your plans are this evening, I hope they are lovely. I’m going to try to make everyone’s day as nice as possible, people I love, people I just like a little, and total strangers.

Ok, and in case this is insufficiently romantic for Valentine’s, here’s something I found in Vincent van Gogh’s letters to his brother Theo, which I find entirely apt and lovely:

“And I believe people are wrong who think love prevents one from thinking clearly, for it is then that one thinks very clearly and is more active than before. There is the same difference in a person before and after he is in love as between and unlighted lamp and one that is burning. The lamp was there and it was a good lamp, but now it sheds light too, and that is its real function. And love makes one more calm about many things, and so one is more fit for one’s work.”

3 Responses to “Be Nice to Everyone Day”

  • Scott Watson says:

    That is a great quote, perhaps one of the best quotes I have heard on the subject of love.

    We should have a “Be nice” celebration day. Not sure what you would serve at such an occasion though.


  • AMT says:

    I think you would serve a thing that you’ve heard someone on the guest list likes, but hardly ever has.


  • Frederique says:

    Oh Vincent!


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So Much Love by Rebecca Rosenblum

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