According to Mark Twain, “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
Since today is Valentine’s Day, I am reminded that there is actually a third important day. It is the day you spontaneously fall in love with someone.
I have fallen in love before, and I know it was not involuntarily; it was deliberate. But this time, it feels a bit different. I had my own moments of Tamia’s song, titled, This Time It’s Love. The song is from her album Tamia, released in 1998, the year I turned seven.
I give a context of my age because I want you to realise that I have always been an old soul. Before you roll your eyes and say, ’98 is just yesterday, well, I recognise Captain & Tenniille’s Love Will Keep Us Together and Dionne Warwick’s I’ll Never Love This Way Again.
Heck! I know the 70s hit by Barry White where he said, “you’re the first, the last, my everything”. I even have The Commodores’ Three Times A Lady on my playlist where they speak about the end of the rainbow. I have had my fair share of endings too.
However, I particularly mention Tamia’s This Time it’s Love because it speaks to the sentiments of my heart. The lyrics go, “Every single day we knew, my love grows deeper and stronger. It’s true, cause you showed me things I’ve never known. You give me strength to carry on … I hope this time is love.”
I see this Friday as a perfect opportunity to celebrate love and the ones we love. I was walking around different malls and the predominantly red with a touch of white decorations, specials and promotions of different products were hard to ignore.
Allow me to digress a bit.
Many young men (black in particular) are boycotting Valentine’s Day for an imaginary Men’s Conference. One of their reasons is that women treat Valentine’s Day as an extension of their birthday. They still want to be at the receiving end of gifts, while they give their boyfriends and husbands nothing.
Perhaps this cynicism will end one day.
Back to my point about finding love. I have also realised that I had not fully discovered the second most important day of my life: the ‘why’ I was born. Now that I fully comprehend this, I am convinced that perhaps I threw myself into love before, hence it did not feel like it was the third important day of my life. But now that I involuntarily fell in love, I hope it is a true and everlasting love.
For that, I want to celebrate Valentine’s Day, irrespective of all the arguments about who St Valentine is and how this day is not African. If the day gives us an opportunity to celebrate one of the greatest feelings ever, I see no reason why we shouldn’t.
As Sarah Dassen puts it, “There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.”
For as long as love is a cultivator, we should continue to celebrate it.
As Tamia said, I hope this time it’s love.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Kabelo Chabalala is the founder and chairperson of the Young Men Movement (YMM), an organisation that focuses on the reconstruction of the socialisation of boys to create a new cohort of men. Email email@example.com; Twitter @KabeloJay; Facebook Kabelo Chabalala
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