To give a thing of beauty and to lighten the heart of another is the best investment we will ever make. Spending a whole lot of love yields impressive gains.
Once upon a time in 269 A.D., in a robust economy far away, there lived a temple priest named Valentine. He was sentenced to death for marrying couples against the wishes of the Roman emperor. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter whom he had befriended and signed it, "From Your Valentine." The day of his execution, February 14, eventually became a time for exchanging messages of love and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers.
A lover's heart holds Fool's gold. This heart of soul, the seat of our passion, moves us to bestow gifts upon our loved ones like chocolate and roses on Valentine's Day. Yet inasmuch as we give with our hearts, it is not always a simple act to receive a gift. Many people feel uncomfortable receiving something freely given. Some feel indebted to the giver, and that sense of obligation may be burdensome. If the recipient feels bound to reciprocate, occasionally it is because the gift has not just fancy ribbon, but strings attached.
Some people, for whatever reason, harbor a little bit of a chill in their Foolish hearts. They think that gift-giving is a waste of money. "Chocolates rot your teeth and roses die," they say. In fact, a natural ingredient in chocolate is phenylethylamine, a chemical that plays a critical role in the limbic system and is known to give a feeling of bliss. What finer gift is there than bliss?
Yes, roses die, and so do we. I will never forget three successive days one frosty December when, unknown to each other, I was given a single white rose by first a sister, next a friend, and then a lover. It was an extraordinary gift from three exceptional spirits, an act of uncommon creativity and love. As long as I live, the memory of those roses will never pass away.