There is something about Valentine’s Day that always leaves me pondering the BIG existential question “What does love mean in my life these days”? Cliché I know, but I would wager most of us share this train of thought at some point as the red roses and candy flutter around us mid- February.
This year my answer came to me as I was delivering the news to a young college student that she was accepted to the next Greenpeace Semester. Almost in tears, she thanked me and told me how excited she was as she never thought she would get in. Though I hear similar stories from applicants often, I am always stuck by the raw emotion in their voices. In that moment I get to witness a unique side of love- someone who loved themselves so much they were willing to do something they never thought they could to fulfill a dream.
As we talked I told her more about how most alumni from the program go off to begin environmental or social justice organizing careers. In essence I was welcoming her to the metaphoric “family” of hundred of thousands of activists bound together around the globe by our love for protecting this planet.
Over the next few weeks she will be reaching out to her family and friends to tell them the good news. With their help she will save money and prepare herself for the program. With the help of her professors she hopefully secure college credit.
So what does this have to do with cupid and Valentine ’s Day you ask? In my opinion there is something profoundly beautiful about the love a person can have for the work they do. It helps define us, give us purpose, heals us, and gives us another “family”. So in honor if V-day I am sending my gratitude to all those who spread love through activism, and to those people who helped them get there. Much love to you all!