Thursday, January 28, 2016

Concerned about feelings on Valentine's Day

There still is a little time before Valentine's Day comes. (It's the 14th of next month). I wanted to repeat something though and do it ahead of time to hopefully reach some of your thoughts. I've written about this the past few years, but I really think it can stand to be repeated. I'm talking about the "exclusive" nature of Valentine's Day.

In school, kids often bring in Valentine cards to exchange with other kids in their class and sometimes with other classes as well. It all ends up being a big popularity contest though. The new kid who isn't known yet, or the students who aren't as popular might not get any cards at all. Instead they would have hurt feelings and would go home crying at the end of the day. People end up dreading coming to school that day.
The same kind of thing can happen in the workplace.  Some employees exchange cards.  Flowers arrive from husbands and boyfriends.  Sometimes there are chocolates or balloons or teddy bears.  It lifts the spirits of the recipient, but who about the one sitting there who gets nothing? 

I'm not saying we have to supply cards and gifts for the whole world, but perhaps there are a few things we can do to be more considerate of those other people.  For example, some schools have a policy that if you bring Valentine cards in to exchange, there must be one for everyone. The same thing is true with things like cupcakes or cookies.  Another possibility is to be more discrete.   This works in the workplace a lot better though than with kids in a classroom.
What are your thoughts about this?  Is it fair though to tell a child who he or she must give to? Should the school get involved? Do employers need to monitor such things? Do we need to care about the feelings of others?  What do YOU think?

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