In keeping with Valentine’s Day, I thought it was fitting to write about the importance of love. Simply put, the most important lesson I’ve learned from my years of working in AIDS is that at the end of our days, the only measure of true wealth is having people in your life that you love and who love you. Jobs, career, degrees and money not so much. In fact Warren Buffett, the financial wizard, put it quite succinctly when he said, When you get to my age, you'll measure your success in life by how many of the people you want to have love you actually do love you. That's the ultimate test of how you've lived your life."
There are numerous studies that show the positive and healthy aspects of being in loving relationships. It’s also important to note that illness can certainly put a strain on that love. But for today, let’s focus on ways we can share love and let those people who we do care about know it. So, this doesn’t mean you have rush right out to your local convenience store or pharmacy and buy a box of Whitman Samplers. Instead, you can:
• E-mail, call or text
• Write a Valentine’s Card. It doesn’t matter if it gets their late, you wrote it on the day itself
• Make a special meal (or make a reservation to a favorite restaurant)
• A hug
• Write a poem and leave for them to find
• Spend time together doing something you like
• Share the poetry of Rumi (considered by some to have written the best love poems of all time)
And simplest of all, tell the people in your life that matter, that you love and appreciate them.
Happy Valentine’s Day!