Tell People You Love Them - February 2014

Valentine’s Day, 1974. I remember the night before … My mom bought a box of Looney Tunes Valentine’s cards so I could address them for my classmates in Mrs. Moore’s fifth-grade class. I grabbed my pen and neatly wrote each classmate’s name on an envelope. Then I began to compose some of the best Valentine’s Day prose of the seventies on each card. “You’re cool.” “Happy Valentine’s Day!” “Stay groovy.” The poetry flowed effortlessly. 

I arrived to school a few minutes early the next day and proudly distributed the cards on everyone’s desk. They did the same when they got there. And one by one, each of the twenty-some of us had a Valentine from every person in the class. I remember how special I felt reading all of the cards in the envelopes addressed to me, and it warmed my heart to watch my classmates open and read theirs. 

It is wonderful to take time out of your day to acknowledge others in your life and let them know how much you appreciate them. As we look ahead to the Day of Love, Valentine’s Day, I am reminded of a conversation I had with my Dad just a day or so before he died. He said, “Tell people you love them.” I was a young, twenty-four-year-old man when I lost my father to cancer, and most of the wisdom he shared with me in his last days wasn’t really appreciated until years later. 

As I mature (that’s a polite way of saying “I’m getting older” – my AARP card arrives soon), and experienced more of life’s ups and downs, I have come to appreciate the simple wisdom of telling people I love them. I show appreciation to the barista making my coffee. A custodian taking care of our campus. The young woman pumping my gas. My colleagues. My kids. My wife. 

All individuals enjoy moments when another person acknowledges and expresses thankfulness for them. So don’t wait to tell others you appreciate or love them. Whether it’s a few, simple words, a hug, or a Looney Tune Valentine’s Day card, stop, and take time to express your love and gratitude. It makes people feel special. And you will feel pretty good as well.

Go Ducks and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Oh, and “stay groovy,”