Although, like most holidays in America, Valentine’s Day has become a consumerist celebration where women don red lipstick and painted fingernails, men take their best shot at a romantic gesture for their sweethearts, single women claim their independence with “Galentine’s” parties, and retail stores capitalize on the exorbitant amounts of money spent on chocolates and flowers— at it’s core, what we celebrate on February 14th is really pretty special.
That feeling we are so privileged to get to experience and yet that is so beyond our realm of comprehension that art has struggled to describe and portray it for centuries.
That feeling of depth, magic, realness and closeness that makes the human experience both messy and beautifully unique.
Indescribable, powerful, sometimes painful— love.
Whether it’s romantic love, platonic love, familial love, or simply that “love” feeling we get when deeply immersed in our hobbies, we all like love: to feel it, to receive it, to give it, to experience it.
And yet… love can be such a nuisance. It is not fair, not capable of being measured or predicted, not subject to regulation. It is hardly teachable, often complicated, and frequently associated with “falling,” as well as being the cause of less-than-prudent or otherwise “crazy” decisions (i.e. “The things we do for love.”)
What place has love in matters of work and business? What place has love— unfair, unmeasurable, unpredictable, “crazy” love— in discussions of money and the future?
According to therapist Pittman McGehee “The opposite of love is not hate, it is efficiency.” What place has inefficiency in matters so serious as work, money and business? Laborious, thought-heavy, costly, time-consuming love— why try to incorporate it into work?
Superfluous as it may be, when we infuse love into our work, when we take the extra time to do the little things, when we lead instead of pull, when we listen instead of hurry through, when we have patience instead of haste, when we understand that it is love and not efficiency that humans seek from other humans— maybe, just maybe, we get what we want from our work and then some.