To the Greeks it is agape. The Italians romantically sing of amore. The Spaniards speak of amor. No matter the language, love is a powerful force that takes us to the very best of the human condition.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary offers nine definitions of the word “love” as a noun, and four definitions of the word “love” as a verb. Love can have many varied meanings, but frequently centers around the idea of holding someone or something dear. Love is discussed and contemplated many times throughout the course of a year, but perhaps none more so than during the Valentine’s Day season.
The brightness of the color red is also on full display during Valentine’s Day. Red roses are sold by the dozen, red Valentine’s Day cards are fondly exchanged, and the heart-shaped, red boxes of chocolate candy warm the hearts of many. It is the season for red balloons, red manicured fingernails, and beautiful red dresses or neck ties.
Cupid is another reminder of love that is frequently showcased during this time of year. In Greek mythology, Cupid was the son of Venus, the goddess of love. While many versions of Cupid’s story exist, a common theme is that a person struck by one of Cupid’s golden arrows will fall uncontrollably in love. Shakespeare further perpetuated this view of Cupid when he wrote, “Things base and vile, holding no quantity, love can transpose to form and dignity. Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind.”
As we collectively contemplate love this Valentine’s Day season, I challenge you to look beyond your friends, family, and that special someone. Look beyond your inner circle to those in our community who need your love. Love is a powerful force that transcends all that divides us. It has the power to reshape our society to an even greater place.
At Weatherford College, we have recently been focused on our “Culture of Caring” and the Presidential Core Values of faith, hope, and love. There are many students at Weatherford College in need of love. Like Webster’s many definitions of love, WC students can be shown manifestations of love in many varied ways. An act of love can be something as large as a financial contribution toward a scholarship, or something as small, yet exceedingly meaningful, as a kind word of genuine encouragement. A simple, kind interaction with a student somewhere in the community can provide much needed psychological support to those still finding their way in life.
We all face many challenges in life. Love can be a powerful solution. In the 1st Century BC, the poet Virgil wrote the famous line, “Love conquers all, and so let us surrender ourselves to Love.” This Valentine’s Day season, let’s let our collective love shine the way toward an even brighter shared future!
Tod Allen Farmer
President, Weatherford College