Teen Perspective on Valentine’s Day

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Aris Sanders

Happy Valentine’s Day Peninsula High School!

Maya Angelou once said, “If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love.” I do not think I could find a more perfect representation of how Valentine’s Day should be approached.

Not only has this day become over-commercialized, but it has been turned into something very foreign from its original purpose: To spread love.”

— Molly Clark

In the same way, asking somebody to homecoming has been flipped around from how it used to be. Now, if you are planning on asking somebody to a school dance of some sort, you need a poster with a clever phrase and a gift to go with it. And if you don’t do this, it’s considered “lazy” or “halfhearted”.

When I mentioned this to my parents, they actually thought I was kidding because when they were in high school, all you needed was seven words, “Will you go to homecoming with me?” Those who went out of their way to bring offerings like this were looked at as extravagant, and it was very rare.

In a way, this is how Valentine’s Day has been distorted. A day that is meant to simply show love to others is now focused only on one’s significant other. Instead of just telling someone how much you love them, you have to prove it with endless gifts for that person. In the same way if you were to ask somebody to homecoming without giving them something, if you don’t buy your girlfriend or boyfriend present after present, you’re selfish.

At the end of the day, the posters and the chocolate-covered candy is all materialistic. They have zero value in showing somebody how much you care about them. We put a price tag on somebodies affection. “He only spent $10 on me, he doesn’t even care.” I have heard things very similar to this on multiple occasions. And nobody seems to notice how ridiculous it is. That really isn’t something you can put a price too whatsoever.

Also, why does this day only have to be about whoever you’re dating? If it’s an opportunity to give random acts of kindness, I don’t see why it shouldn’t be towards everyone. Especially since that person might not have even been in your life very long when there are people around you that have been there for you your entire life. It makes much more sense to show them love versus anybody else.

In the Maya Angelou quote, it says “people” not “person.” As in more than one. So this February 14th, show love to everyone you love, not just one singular person. And even though the day has been turned into something completely materialistic as is, a little chocolate never hurts.