What Valentine's Day 2018 Taught Me

Like most people, I characterize Valentine’s Day as a day of love and appreciation for family and friends alike. However, these feelings were amplified last Valentine’s Day when the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School struck my community. I quickly realized that life is fleeting and we must show our love every day because you never know what can happen in a moment. With that being said, allow me to explain what Valentine’s Day 2018 taught me about cherishing life.

1. Express your appreciation every day

Valentine’s Day is not the only time we should express love for somebody. We can act upon it daily by helping friends and family with homework or chores, for example. Also, a unique idea is to handwrite letters to friends and family who are further away and may be hard to get in contact with. Handwriting makes it more personal and you can write about how much someone means to you. They will be incredibly grateful for that.

2. No moment is guaranteed

If Valentine’s Day 2018 taught me anything, it was that life is precious and no moment is guaranteed. In an instant, life can change from beautiful to terrifying and we must learn to adapt to that. Take a second out of your day to say “I love you” because you never know if that moment will come again.

3. Many terrible events happen in this world

A little morbid, but this one felt like a reality slap to the face. We sometimes live in a bubble in which nothing bad happens to us and we can live peacefully all the time. However, on February 14, I knew that tragedy can strike anywhere. The important thing to do is take time to grieve and cherish friends and family. You truly cannot expect anything.

4. Stand up for what is right

This does not mean fully immersing yourself in the political realm, but standing up for what you believe in is vital. I realized that there are many people in this world who hide behind greed and instill fear to maintain power. By mobilizing with like-minded people, you can achieve virtually anything if you put your mind to it. After all, passion drives success. With that being said, there is one more thing that Valentine’s Day taught me.

5. Teenagers can change the world

I never fully grasped the impact a group of teenagers could have until the Parkland students gathered together and founded the March For Our Lives movement. They spoke on behalf of our county, the nation and the world. We know that there needs to be change, so we are going to do something about it.

Valentine’s Day 2018 was a complete whirlwind of emotions, ranging from love and sadness to optimism and fear. Although my community wishes that this tragedy never happened, students mobilized and created change in the wake of it. By doing so, there were many lessons to learn that day. I have become a better person and now use my voice to reflect on one of the most monumental days of my life, February 14, 2018.

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