Letters & Opinion

Valentine Day or Not, Love is a Two-way Street!

Image of Carlton Ishmael
By Carlton Ishmael

As Valentine’s Day approached, I supposed – as per usual — that there were a lot of loved ones just waiting to receive their special packages of gifts and gestures of love from their loved ones. But, also as per usual, few have reserved their own gifts to give-back in return to those they’re waiting-on to deliver theirs.

So, they wait for their special Rose, Chocolate, Jewelry, or Special Dinner at an exclusive resort, but few will decide to cook that special home-made meal for their husbands or boyfriends.

These days, our Government is in love with Taiwan because they are helping their cause so they are supporting Taiwan at the international level. But do we praise Cuba by boasting about the many things they have done for us or given to us as a country? Where on island do you have a monument or structure in memory of our appreciation for the Cuban people?

We love to receive, we love it when the Government gives freely, we love it when we receive donations or help for our medical needs, but ask these same recipients to support a cause of any kind, they shy away and will not commit.

Love is supposed to be a two-way street where you get and you give, but sadly most of us like to get, but find no joy in giving.

There are lots who know our pain and plenty in a position to help, but it is usually about self, family and close friends. We are quick to say “Thanks”, but the words “Look” or “Here you are” are seldom part of their vocabulary.

If only we would share, appreciate the gesture of having or getting, we would also see the beauty in giving. I mean, how many times have you heard of selective people getting scholarships to study abroad, fully-funded, yet after they have graduated, they seldom consider coming back to make a contribution…

We just love it when parents give, we love when they buy us expensive gifts, we love when they die and leave assets for our future, but these same receivers are the first ones not having the time to visit these same parents while they were alive.

It is so sad that we like friends that give and when we find them in the bars we like to say “Give me a drink….” We like it when the tourists buy and leave us tips, we like to work serving at restaurants where a tip is always left behind for the service provided, but tell me: when we do get served, do we in turn extend the same courtesy by also leaving a tip?

We are always in our self-interest, it’s always about us and seldom about “we” or “you” or “the others”. We like to show off, we like to let others know how much we have profited and what we have gained or received and how much discount we got on this deal or that purchase, but when it’s about us giving a pay hike to our employees, or sponsoring a sports team, or assisting a home for the homeless, we do not see the purpose of being good to others.

So, for this Valentine Day, I had wished and hope that we begin to see love as a two-way street: if you enjoy getting you have to also offer something too, to those who go out of their way to say “Look”, or if not, then just give something to someone else in need.

The days came and left before I wrote this, but the message remains the same: We must stop this selfish attitude and learn to support, be part of the struggle, help the weak to grow and give a helping hand. Otherwise, we remain takers and never become givers too.

Even Christians say how they “Love” God because He is a Giving and Caring God, but the Love He gives to us, we seldom give to others.

Now, that’s Bad!

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