Ccllc_logo_stacked Occasionally we will welcome guest authors who have relevant and inspiring ideas to share. This week we are proud to bring you a post written by Patrick Spear, husband of our Sales and Marketing coordinator Lisa Spear. Patrick has over two decades of sales and marketing experience in the consumer packaged goods industry, including seven years with the BIC Corporation, seven years with Rubbermaid Home Products, and five years with Mapa Spontex.

Expressions of Love

Valentine’s Day is upon us this week, the one day each year where we outwardly express our love and devotion to that special someone who makes our heart race.  I always think back to my childhood, and the ritual of exchanging "Valentines" with my classmates, and smile today when I see the tradition continued by my children.  They get genuinely excited about Valentine’s Day.

Sometimes, though, the cynical side of me creeps in, and I look at this occasion as just one more "special day" commercialized by the _______ (fill in the blank; Flower?  Jewelry?  Candy?  Retail?) industry to drive sales/profits.  Knowing, however, that there is magic in a Valentine’s sentiment, and just as Sylvia Lane did in last’s week blog, it seems relevant to ponder Tina Turner's famous refrain, "What's love got to do with it?"

Simply put, A LOT. 

Humans, and many other species, are hard-wired for affection, and the presence of love in our lives has a profound impact on how we perform, how we think about others, and ultimately, our worldview.  Everyone's busy, and we all find tricks to manage the overload; simple tactics for multi-tasking, abbreviations for full sentences (OMG!  LMK!  ILY!), and an expanding ability to maximize the use of our opposable thumbs for texting (someone told me today that there are now gloves that have the tips removed from the index finger and thumb to enable texting.  Who knew?) 

The upshot of all this busy-ness, though, is that we sometimes fail to communicate to our loved one(s), families, friends, and co-workers how much they mean to us.

Now, we don't need to get all squishy and gooey professing love in every corner, but there has been a lot of research done around the positive effects of smiling, hugging, laughing and doing good deeds.  At the heart of it, these expressions are all, in varying degrees, expressions of love.  Kindness and charitable acts, smiles and laughter, hugs and favors done with no expectation of reward or payback; these things don't need or require a special day.  They can, and should, be a part of EVERY day.

While we can enjoy February 14, 2011 as another terrific Valentine’s Day, maybe we can also think about how to show whatever form of love we're comfortable with every other day this year.  Look for ways to make other hearts warm, and you'll be amazed at how your heart warms in the process. 
The answer to Ms. Turner's question? "Love has everything to do with it..."

Not sure where to start?  There are plenty of organizations that can use your expression of love, and that will warm your heart, including:

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Patrick Spear