Opinion Forum argues pros, cons of Valentine’s Day
AT ISSUE: The restaurant specials, lush flowers, singing stuffed animals, Valentine chocolates and comic-like Hallmark cards-how does society arrange itself around all the facets of Valentine’s Day? Is it a celebration of love and romance or inherent consumerism?
Consumer’s choice, not market
We compete to purchase manufactured tokens of affection to flaunt the amount of compassion we share between the ones we love.
The commercial aspect of Valentine’s Day that seems to over saturate the marketplace pressures consumers into believing this holiday of romance purely revolves around making money. But can we really blame the commercialization of Valentine’s Day on the suppliers of the marketplace? A commercial venture is only successful if there is an evident amount of demand for such products to be provided.
Love, attraction and desire are ancient and ingrained in the mental constitution of the human brain. Many "modern" individuals who claim to be content alone and to not need love or romance in their lives, fail to look inward to truthfully examine their disposition to love. Our society has instilled the idea that it is not macho to outwardly display signs of affection for one another. So many people hide from their own truth: that they probably yearn for love as much, if not more, than the most openly romantic.
Is it too late for us as a society to regress to the days of love poems and selfless acts of love illustrated in tales such as Romeo and Juliet? It is instances such as these that Valentine’s Day is all about, and the pursuance of such love is what will sustain the never-ending demand for Valentine’s Day.
Love has no monetary value
Valentine’s Day may have meant something special in previous eras, but today, it is far overrated. We think we can put a price on everything, no matter how profound and invaluable it is. Can we really put a price on love, one of the most powerful and meaningful forces in the world? People feel obligated to buy their significant others expensive items, as if it means they really love those people. Any person with a million dollars can buy their lover a Lotus, but it doesn’t mean they are in love. It just means that they put a monetary value on a relationship and have too much money to spend on something that rapidly depreciates in value.
Society is in the "vice" state of the luxury cycle when love has a cost. Unfortunately, we live in a commercial society where it is better to spend money on useless items than to assign meaning to important things. How many times have we bought something we didn’t need and later resold it or threw it away? Superficiality is a hallmark of consumerist cultures, but once you scratch off the dull facade of public life you will see the brutal reality that is embedded in all of us. It is difficult to break away from consumerism-- it is all Westerners have known since birth. We are too far along and oblivious to the excesses we live with.
There are 364 other days in the year
With Valentine’s Day coming, it’s a wonder "love" still exists in the world. Feb. 14 isn’t a day most people look forward to anymore because its meaning has changed over the years. It has become more like a chore instead of doing something special for a significant other.
What is the point of showing your love on one day as opposed to every day of the year? What makes Valentine’s Day that great of a day to give a gift when one can surprise a loved one or friend year---round? The problem with Valentine’s Day is that people and society hype it up to mean and be more than it really needs to be.
Not everyone has a valentine. Not everyone wants a valentine.
The only people truly benefiting from Valentine’s Day are the business owners – jewelry stores, restaurants, flower shops and Hallmark. Thousands of dollars will be spent this week, but will it really be in the name of love and romance? Unfortunately, no.
Shopping for a Valentine’s Day present is like shopping for Christmas presents. Stores are packed. Shelves are bare. It looks like a tornado hit the store and left it in disarray. Love and romance should be an everyday thing. If you love someone, express it, tell that person often. Don’t wait until Feb. 14 to show him or her your affection.