Commentary: It’s about love not dread

Spinnaker

Red hearts, chocolate and time spent together all represent an annual February holiday. But they also represent a simpler matter: love.

Valentine’s Day is around the corner, which is perfect timing for Americans who have spent months facing economic downturn and uncertainty. Instead of hearing they are fired or there is no future career with their degree, the American people need a day to spend time with the people in their lives who care about them.

A recent study reported nearly 14 million people in the U.S. are diagnosed with clinical depression. So what are we doing about that growing number?

Instead of fretting about the millions of dollars spent on Valentine’s Day, we should join in and be a part of reviving an increasingly depressed society. It doesn’t have to involve a romantic relationship to show you care about someone; a genuine smile or time spent listening to a lonely neighbor are equally important valentine gifts.

Men shouldn’t view Feb. 14 as a day of obligation or dread, especially if they have a special Valentine in their life. They are given a day to bring a smile to someone’s face.

And smiles don’t have to even cost them a penny – if that’s the only thing they are concerned about. A simple picnic in the park, walk on the beach or dinner and movie at home cost nearly nothing.

If they do decide to buy chocolates and flowers, they are only contributing to reviving a hurting economy. A dozen roses and delicious dinner – which they get to enjoy too – isn’t breaking the bank. But the gesture shows they are thinking about their special someone and boosts a company during tough times.

And since when is it a corporate-regulated hassle to tell someone they are special and matter to you?

E-mail Holli Welch at [email protected]