It’s the Valentine’s Issue! I know, I know: Valentine’s Day is a divisive celebration. You either love the love, or are fully convinced that the whole thing is a Hallmark holiday. Both are valid points of view. Personally, I quite like Valentine’s Season, if that’s what you want to call it: all the shops get cheap flowers in and everything is covered in red and pink (a very underrated combination of colours, if you ask me). Plus, St. Valentine wasn’t only the patron saint of lovers; he’s also come to represent beekeepers and plague victims. That’s pretty metal.
Speaking of bees, I was minding a seven-year-old girl last summer who was mad about the things. She even looked like a bee: she was very small and round and would wear almost exclusively yellow and black clothes. She just loved them. In fact, she was so in tune with the bee world that, according to her, she instinctively knew they were an endangered species because she can – and I quote – “sense the bees’ feelings.” Her solution was to leave a bowl of honey outside the door for them, and I told her that was a very noble thing to do (she was seven years old, guys. I wasn’t about to break her heart any further).
You have to admire that confidence, don’t you? That bowl of honey isn’t about to save the world’s bee population by any stretch of the imagination, but the assuredness with which it was laid out would, for a split second, almost make you think ‘well, maybe it won’t save all of the bees – but maybe it will help one or two’. It won’t, but the point is that there’s still that glimmer of hope. And who’s to say that this little beekeeper won’t go on to hone her technique so that, some time in the future, she will go on to help save the bees? How do we know that the bowl isn’t the start of something great?
At the end of the day, one act or one person isn’t going to change the world, and though we know that it’s a bit foolish to think otherwise, the existence of people who seem to have done exactly that single-handedly can be enough the sow a few seeds of doubt. It’s important, though, to distinguish between figureheads and the movements they represent. Nobody, no matter how successful or how well-remembered by history, can bring about positive change without a lot of help and a lot of patience. It’s very easy to get disheartened by all the sh-…shenanigans going on around the world when you consider that you and I and everyone else are simply individual people, and no one can bring about world peace or any similarly noble state of being all on their lonesome. That’s why we need to lean on each other.
Life happens in cycles, I think. Things are good, then they get bad, and then they get good again, and this cycle has been ongoing for the entire history of humanity. It does seem like we’re waiting for the good part to come around at the moment, and it will – but not on its own. It’s very important not to let ourselves get disheartened at this point of that cycle, and one trick in doing that is to remind ourselves every now and then that we’re not the only ones out there. If we can all just bear in mind that there are other good people with the passion and the patience to make the world a little bit brighter for everyone in it, we can keep ourselves going that little bit longer.
Oh, and remember I mentioned that St. Valentine is also the patron saint of plague victims? The plague I’m referring to here is fascism. Don’t let it win. Happy Valentine’s Day, and stay safe and happy during RAG Week!