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February 14, 2013

OUR VIEW: We all could use a little more love

— Complaining about Valentine’s Day is about as cliché as over-commercialized candies and the heart-shaped boxes they come in. Feb. 14 is not “singles awareness day,” nor is it a day to spend large amounts of money on items that will hit the garage sale later  summer.

It’s supposed to be a day to show love. Any type of love, whether it be brotherly or romantic or friendly. The world could certainly use more love. As we’ve all experienced, there’s a noticeable lack of it in today’s society.

Yes, there’s a mountain of money spent on Valentine’s Day annually — some statistics put it at $13.19 billion. But is that showing love? We say no.

We are advocating that this Valentine’s Day, we make a genuine effort to show love for our fellow man. And we’re not alone in that wish.

Through Sunday, it’s Random Acts of Kindness Week. Sponsored annually by the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (yes, that’s a real thing), it’s a week aimed at inspiring people to practice kindness and pass it onto others.

There’s still a few days to participate and what better day to start than Valentine’s Day?

The foundation offers several ways to commit a random act of kindness and suggests participants complete one daily.

• Smile at 10 strangers.

• Buy something for the person in the line behind you.

• Reach out to someone you haven’t talked to in a while.

• Bring a treat to a neighbor or your co-workers.

• Donate your time or money to a local charity.

• Let someone go in front of you in line.

These are simple things you can do to change someone’s day, which could in turn change the day of the next person he or she encounters. Love is infectious. Pass it on.

So this year, let’s opt out of complaining and cellophane-wrapped chocolates. Instead, let’s turn our focus to loving each other. Even if for just one day.

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