What’s Love Got to Do With It?

“What’s Love Got to Do With It is” is the title of Tina Turner’s first comeback song after a hiatus that followed an abusive marriage and domestic violence.

February—the month of love and friendship; the celebration of Valentine’s Day (Thursday the 14th), and the call for people of character to do something (cards, candy, cash).

A History Lesson

Americans probably began exchanging handmade valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the “Mother of the Valentine,” made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as “scrap.” Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 1 billion Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year, making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.) Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all valentines. https://www.history.com/topics

A Science Lesson

There is an extreme powerful force that, so far, science has not found a formal explanation…This universal force is LOVE….
Love is Light to those who give it and receive it.|
Love is Gravity, because it makes some people feel attracted to others.
Love is Power, because it multiplies the best we have, and allows humanity not to be extinguished in their blind selfishness.
Love unfolds and reveals.
For love we live and die.
Love is the most powerful force there is, because it has no limit.
Love is God and God is Love….

– From a letter by Albert Einstein to his daughter

A Question: What Is This Thing Called Love?

The song written by Cole Porter asks:  “What is this thing called love, this funny thing called love? Just who can solve this mystery?”

Psychologist, Barbara Fredrickson, author of the book Positivity, writes about “the science of happiness” and focuses on ten positive emotions – love, joy, gratitude, serenity, interest, hope, pride, amusement, inspiration and awe. She writes that these ten emotions give life to the “happiness habits” of building and maintaining strong relationships.

Love,” she writes, “comes into play in a close and safe relationship. Love is the most common feeling of positivity and comes in surges. Love bonds us to those with whom we have the deepest connections. Love fosters warmth and trust with the people who mean the most to us. Love makes us want to do and be better people.”

Another Question: What is Good Character?

Our friend, character education guru, and psychologist Thomas Lickona answers:

It’s having the right stuff on the inside strengths such as honesty, respect, responsibility, caring, and self-control. Character is built, not born. We create our character by the choices we make. Good choices create good character; bad choices create bad character. Character is the key to self-respect, to the respect of others, to positive relationships, to a sense of fulfillment, to achievement, to a happy marriage, to success in every area of life.

Three Views of Character and Love

I found these quotes in my files. I do not know who the authors are.

  • Your character is who you are. To understand yourself is to know your character. To love yourself is to love your character.
  • People of character know how to love. They love unconditionally. They forgive freely. They lift up all people without prejudice or discrimination.
  • You never really know the true quality of someone’s character until the road gets rocky…those, who truly love us, always stick with us; the losers fall off the boat quickly!

Don’t you “love it”? Being “in love” with someone means that you respect him/her; that you are honest, caring, and forgiving. People of character know how to feed all of the attributes of a positive, loving relationship. If this sounds too mushy, I suggest you read Steve Farber’s book, Love Is Just Damn Good Business.

“Love is not just a greeting-card word and not something to be relegated to your private life. In fact, love is damn good business.”

Since I want to be seen as a person of good character, I am heading out to Hallmark to buy Valentine’s Day cards. But wait—would I be more “loving” if I sent an email card? An Instagram? A text? A tweet?

Ed DeRoche, Director, Character Education Resource Center, SOLES
February 2019

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