Around here, Valentine's Day is not the holiday it is in the States. The marketing people love it, and Valentine's displays pop up in the stores, but it's not really a Japanese thing.
I'll tell you what's universal, though... kindness. For example, here's a compilation of dash cam videos from Russia showing simple acts of kindness and compassion:
Notice how these acts don't have to be anything big or planned out. They don't have to cost anything besides a little thoughtfulness and a moment of your time.
I think it's ingrained in us to be kind to each other. Sometimes we're just caught up in working our way through our own days so we miss the opportunity to make someone else's. So I love it when we get a nudge to rise to the occasion. Take last week's Atlanta "snowstorm" traffic fiasco, for example. Wasn't it magnificent the number of people who went out of their way to show kindness to complete strangers? People walking the highways to pass out food and water to those stranded with their cars, businesses like Target and Lowe's offering shelter, others like Starbucks and Trussville Grill giving away free coffee and food. All the way over here in Japan I read about the SnowedOutAtlanta facebook groups, and the amazing offers of help, delivering food, even opening up homes to perfect strangers who needed to get out of the elements for the night.
What if we didn't wait for the next nudge to look for ways to be kind to those around us? Imagine if everyone decided to look for at least one opportunity to help someone this month. Or even better... We've got four weeks. I'll bet we could each dream up (and carry out!) at least one random act of kindness each week. Let's do it! Let's celebrate Valentine's Day all month long.
Best way I know to share the love!