Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Day to Spread the Love

Valentine's Day has gotten a little more complicated around our house now that we have a tween and teen. My younger daughter doesn't want to have any thing to do with public displays of affection. My oldest loves the holiday, but feels unsure about handing out Valentine's to her friends....what if no one else is? Remember those days. I gave her advice that I am not sure I could have followed at that age.

I told her to,"Listen to your heart. You are all about expressing your love and friendship. This holiday is made for you. And the world needs more love and kindness. Give out the Valentine's to friends. Don't make the world a little sadder just so you can be like everyone else."

I can sense her pull to follow this instinct. But the same pull in the other direction to fit in. To be like everyone else. There is comfort in that instinct. But there also may be a certain flatness. A little less joy.

In the financial world there is a term called beta. Beta is a reflection of risk. A stock that has a high beta value, is one that has a high degree of volatility. There is a great chance for big returns, .....or big losses. Sometimes in life, and in our art, or our businesses, we face that choice. Do we play it safe, or do we take a chance on the big return? Just like in our finances, it is best to have a balance. Maintaining some degree of safety, but also taking some risks. Knowing what your risks are, and being prepared to accept them if things don't turn out the way you want.

My daughter went off to school today with about a dozen valentines. She plans to hand them out to friends at lunch time. She worries about friends who may not get one, but see that someone else did. She worries about whether or not she should give on to that "special friend". But, she is going to give them out in spite of her worries. Taking the chance of looking silly to some. But also being able to tell her friends that they are special to her.

Readers, this is my Valentine to you. I hope that someone expresses to you today, how special you are to them. With flowers, chocolates, a card, or words. And I hope you can step outside your comfort zone and tell someone that they are a good friend, or that they make your life a little more special.

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart.

-Helen Keller

Happy Valentine's Day!!

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