Pub note Feb 2021

President’s Day and Valentine’s Day: One celebrates love for the country. The other, love for your special someone.

It would seem that they are only loosely related but they actually have quite a bit in common. For example, President’s Day doesn’t represent adoration for a person simply because they were born and became president, it represents admiration and appreciation for the contributions that made our lives better through the impacts they had on our nation’s development. Consider our freedoms regardless of gender, race, ethnicity or other factors. How about leadership that helped form our governing structure and ensure that we had certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Pretty big stuff!

Similarly, look at Valentine’s Day. It’s not merely the existence of a person, it’s the impact they had on our lives, on our hearts. Of course, that’s worthy of appreciation and celebration. Many display these emotions through romantic dinners, flowers, little treats like chocolates, thoughtful cards and more.

Both of these holidays would not be as noteworthy if there weren’t appreciation, and that comes from experiences. With your loved one, the experiences may be cuddling, traveling together, being supportive of each other during challenging times (which were many in 2020) and time shared together. For many, this time together and getting to know each other deeper allows the romance to blossom fully.

With our country, we also appreciate it more when we experience it more, when we discover more and more about it. One benefit of the pandemic was that many elected to visit the National Parks in record numbers as people sought activities that allowed for social distancing and a healthy nature experience. The lasting effects of this can be huge. When people discover something they really enjoyed, they care about it, and when they care about it, they naturally want to protect it. It’s no different with people, because in a relationship, the more you learn about your partner, the more you care about them and the more you naturally want to protect them.

So this February, celebrate your loved ones by doing things that are special. Make the roots of that love grow deeper. And do the same with our country. See new places, do more things, learn about our vast differences in geography, climate, nature and more. It’s a great nation and we can see it easier thanks to the policies and positions of our past presidents, and hey, bring your loved one along too!

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