On this day, every Feb. 14, we celebrate love, per tradition.
We spend time with that special someone, spend absurd amounts of money on chocolate and colorful plants and try to be thankful for those we have in our lives.
Today, my wife and I will spend our first Valentine's Day with our daughter, now just more than seven weeks old. For years, we've pointed out on holidays that "by this time next year, we might have a baby."
Now, that time is finally here and we couldn't be more proud. I can't help but wonder however, how I might explain this day to her if she were able to ask me about it.
Assuming she were able to ask such a question would also mean, of course, that she'd be observant about the world around her. What, exactly, might she be observing?
Through the rose-colored glasses of a child still ignorant to the ways of the world, I see a society that would be very confusing.
On this day, we celebrate love. Yet, citizens spew vitriol over a Super Bowl halftime performance
On this day, we celebrate love. Yet, people vying to become the leader of the free world — and those who support them — launch vicious attacks at each other and refuse to accept the other's point of view.
On this day, we celebrate love. Yet, the world over, men, women and children die in the name of a deity that is supposed to love all.
On this day, we celebrate love. Yet, your neighbors find reasons to hate one another for reasons most of us can't understand.
On this day, we celebrate love. Yet, those elected to represent our best interests are hesitant to allow its citizens to love freely and actively pursue means, in many cases, to prevent them from doing so.
Someday, as a father, I will field questions on these topics.
"Daddy, why is everyone so mean?"
I can't say for certain how I'll answer. There's no large enough box of chocolates or bountiful enough bouquet of flowers to wash away that amount of hatred and intolerance.
Rather than be cynical about it, though, perhaps it's important to embrace the opportunity. Embrace love. Embrace understanding. Celebrate the things that make us happy.
So, on this day, celebrate love, indeed. These days, it seems, we need to take time for that more than ever.
Contact Managing Editor Adam Parkhouse at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-219-214-4170.