By Dr. Azher Quader
It is Valentine’s Day today. Love is in the air and America celebrates love as always with bouquets of roses and boxes of chocolates. Love is on sale everywhere we go. We see it in the balloons flying at checkouts. We smell it in the air as we pass by the cosmetics counter. We hear it in the music as we play the CDs. From exchanging valentine cards in school to the candle light dinners in fancy restaurants, the commerce of love touches both young and old alike, this time each year.
ishq par zor naheen, hai ye woh aatish ‘Ghalib’
ki lagaaye na lage aur bujhaaye na bane
Love follows no conditions it is like a fire
That gets ignited without being deliberately ignited and cannot be extinguished however one may try
Yaqeen Mohkam, Amal Peham, Mohabbat Faateh-E-Alam
Jahad-E-Zindagani Mein Hain Ye Mardon Ki Shamsheerain
Firm certainty (in belief), relentless action, a world conquering love—
These are the swords (and shields) of men in the battles of life.It is the sigh of the created ‘neh’ longing to unite with its beloved, the Creator (Rumi). To the singing sensations of the west, love is undying (My heart will go on for ever: C. Dion), it is physical touch (I want to hold your hand: Beatles), an obsession (You are always on my mind: Presley).
- A love of Life, celebrating its abundance, its freedoms and never to forget its gift of health, to be enjoyed and protected, against neglect and abuse.
- A love of self, not the narcissistic, self indulgent love that craves for attention and self gratification, but a love for self that strives for its fullest realization through self awareness, self discipline, self motivation, integrity, purpose and proactivity. A love for self that nurtures and transforms the human condition from the ordinary to the extra ordinary through the absorption and expression of the attributes of the Divine.
- A love of people for who they are and not of who we wish they were. A love that is unconditional. A love that reaches out and touches. A love that inspires others to become their best. A love that levels all barriers of color and creed, that crosses all boundaries of ethnic divides.
- A love of learning, which reflects in our commitment to education, both formal and informal. A love for learning that opens the doors for economic prosperity and financial security.
- A love of community which manifests in part through a spirit of volunteerism, a commitment for social justice, a willingness to give of what one loves for the welfare of the poor and the needy. A love of community that is expressed through the establishment of institutions that ultimately provides for the common good and leave a legacy of goodwill.