This 14th February, like the one before it, the world will yet again celebrate St. Valentine's day. But on the personal level, what exactly do you mark when you celebrate 'Valentines' day? I mean you!
To be blunt, do you celebrate your success in sleeping with somebody's partner or an innocent girl who believes you are going to marry her when your only intention is to take advantage of her innocence and use her as a sex toy?
Perhaps Val's day is the celebration of your new catch from the last conference, bus terminal, facebook, movies, shop, etc?
What next after the 'wild sex' on Val's day? Where was your wife, husband, boyfriend or girlfriend when you were busily panting for breath in the middle of another woman's thighs?
What will be the future for you and the one you shared the Valentine's Day with?
I must not be misunderstood. I am not against Val's day. Far from it. I wish it were celebrated every day. But since it is not possible to celebrate love everyday because we have other genuine commitments, the opportunity that 14th February presents us all, especially married couples and dating partners to celebrate their lovers once every year must not be lost on them; taken lightly; or substituted for meaningless sex.
To explain further, Valentine's Day must be celebrated to reward hardworking efforts of wives, husbands, boyfriends and girlfriends and special people in our lives. Val's day should be a moment to idolize your partner for his or her faithfulness, loyalty and sacrifice.
Unlike the many fair weather friends, they did not abandon you when the going got tough.
In our generation when the quest for material wealth, social recognition and independence is a matter of life and death, we need to reward those who still make married life a priority. A person who suffered your challenges gladly and did not find cheating attractive, at a time when decency and faithfulness to one's partner is branded as naivety, deserves to be celebrated in the month of love.
Also, we need to celebrate marriages and thriving relationships not because they have been entirely a success story during the years under review, but because irrespective of those moments of anger, hurt, fatigue and financial difficulties, the partners found reason to stay together: reasons that were noble and foresighted, reasons which were too important to be destroyed by perhaps occasional moments of indiscretion on the part of your partner.
It is truly important to celebrate sincere love and use that to encourage relationships to succeed not only for the reasons cited above but also the negative repercussions of failed marriages or reckless sex on Val's day , do not only affect the individuals who are immediately associated with it. It has telling implications on the extended family and the country as a whole.
I wish to conclude with one illustration.
Can you imagine the number of men who will accept a Val's day 'one-night-stand' pregnancy?
Can you also imagine the many women such unplanned pregnancy will force to dropout from school, stop their work, or be banished from their dependents?
How about imagining those who will die from unsafe abortions or the implications of these on family reputations?
What becomes of the children born out of such situations?
Whilst there may be an exception to the rule, I am sure we cannot explain the history of street children, armed robbery, illiteracy, poverty, disease and many of the challenges that government is confronting independent of unplanned pregnancy
On another platform we can discuss sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, the psychological effects, why this discourages people never to marry again or become unloving in future relationships, those who either seek revenge on all women or all men because of a supposed bad encounter with a woman or guy who mistreated them and hurt them severely. How do people transfer such bitterness onto their subordinates in the office.
In conclusion, there is nothing as beautiful as sustaining a healthy relationship that leads to marriage; one that grows generational families that are prosperous and happy. After all, if the country is an aggregation of the nucleus family, then a happy and successful family makes a happy nation.
What is the point in becoming a successful politician, musician, etc without a happy family to celebrate your success with or standby you in moments when friends and associates are not there. We need a family to bequeath our legacies to and care for us when we are old and unattractive.
In this season of love, remember it is a great thing to be loved and even greater for another to feel loved by you. Let's celebrate true love.
AKYENA BRANTUO BENJAMIN