IT’S only a few days away before Hearts Day. So you might be led to believe that I will be writing entirely about that four-letter word that drives people crazy and causes them to act out of character.
Of course, I’m talking about l-o-v-e and not those four-letter swear words. You should feel ashamed about yourselves, potty mouths.
I will be talking a bit about love, but not in the HHWW (holding hands while walking) sense. Sure, you might assure me that you have your fair share of love already from all the K-dramas you binge on. And I wouldn’t disagree with it (and neither does your Viu account). It’s just that, with the recent, sudden passing of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and seven other people, it’s hard for me to feel the lovey-dovey emotion of Hearts Day. Even if you don’t follow the NBA, this still feels like the loss of a childhood friend (given how larger-than-life Kobe was) and is something that will follow the world for many years to come.
If anything, the news about Kobe shines a light about the other side of love—the sacrificial, heroic side that people are now starting to appreciate again. When people are apologizing for petty things (“let that [expletive] go,” one commentator said) and alpha-male athletes are being more open about their emotions and feelings, you know that Kobe’s legacy will live on through the love and actions of others.
Love doesn’t have to only mean monthsaries and surprise romantic dinners. It can mean that, in the wake of Kobe’s passing, people are more giving and forgiving when they realize how little time they have on this earth. It can mean being sensitive to what we put out on social media about virus outbreaks, where sometimes “doctors’” recommendations sound like poorly hidden xenophobia. For myself, this can mean trying to be more present during our family time and hiding my phone under a pillow because all those notifications can wait.
Everyone wants to feel kilig—even the bitter, Dark Lord of the Siths like me. But it helps to be often reminded that true love is not directed to one person. It’s great to find that partner in life to support and encourage you to be a better person. We just need to remember that the true mark of a successful relationship means redirecting that love outward to our fellowmen eventually. This was something that Kobe, as much of a maniac he was on the court, was transitioning to—supporting his daughter’s basketball dream, joining initiatives to empower women, and collaborating to change the world’s perspective of how a retired athlete should act. This was only possible with the support of his wife, Vanessa, who was there all the way to watch his version of love evolve from basketball to life.
So celebrate Hearts Day with your significant other—just don’t neglect to let the other people in your life know also that you love them.