Watching the Super Bowl, I was amused with the McDonalds promotion showing people confused about the request to pay for their meals with a little “lovin”. I’m not sure how the promotion will work for McDonalds, and I probably won’t go there just to try to get a free sandwich, but I like the concept. The world can use some more lovin’.
This weekend features Valentine’s Day. How the celebration has evolved to where it is now is a mystery to me, but it seems a lot less about “love” than about flowers, candy and packed restaurants. It is also about single people feeling “singled out” for not having a romantic interest.
There are more than a dozen Saint Valentines on the list of beatified saints. The one the holiday is named for a priest who was beheaded in 270 AD for helping Christian couples wed. He was martyred by the Roman Emperor Claudius II. The name Valentine, incidentally, comes from the Latin word for worthy, strong or powerful. I just learned, though, that the poet Geoffrey Chaucer may have invented the holiday. In his poem, “Parliament of Foules” he wrote:
“For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate”
For clarity, replace “foul” with fool and you’ll get the gist. According to History.com, the poem refers to February 14 as the day birds and humans come together to find a mate. He wrote the poem in 1375, making it one pretty long-standing tradition.
I’ve written about Valentine’s Day before, especially the different types of love that are possible. In the Greek language, there are four: Agápe, Éros, Philia and Storge. They represent God’s love, romantic love, brotherly love (think Philadelphia) and the love between parent and child, respectively.
I definitely plan to hold up my end of the bargain when it comes to the expectations of Valentine’s Day (I’m married and plan to stay that way) but I do wish there was some more Philia love in the world. Which brings me back to the McDonalds promotion. The world can use a little lovin and if it takes buying a burger and fries to get there, who am I to argue?
Happy Valentine’s Day!.