Today marks the beginning of Lent, a time of reflection and meditation about ourselves, our relationships with others, and our work to answer God’s call “…to act justly, to love tenderly, and to walk humbly with God.” (Micah 6:8). This year, the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday, falls on another day in which we celebrate love: Valentine’s Day.
In honor of this significant day, we asked students how they plan to show and share love with others. We talked about our commitment to service, devotion to our family and friends, and the importance of being kind to those we don’t know. Students shared acts of love big and small, all of which help to brighten the world around them.
Some students gave advice about showing the people in their lives how much they care about them:
Compliment people to help them feel good—about their appearance and how they act. Always say nice things! – Drew C. ‘22
Tell people how much you appreciate them. If they are a big part of your life, let them know. – Ruby H. ‘22
Share what a big impact someone has had on your life and how they have helped you become who you are. If someone has changed you in some way, tell them. Hearing something like that always makes my day and showing love and appreciation is really important. – Piper L. ‘22
Always do everything with love. It is important to take extra time to be especially loving during Lent, despite how busy our lives can feel. And stop to ask how someone is really doing, be present, and take the time to really listen. – Maura S. ‘19
Other students highlighted specific things they have done for the people in their lives:
I volunteer with Rafiki, a service project at NDP that works with girls with disabilities. I help the girls get food and make snacks. We do crafts, play board games and sometimes bake cakes! It is really fun and something I think everyone should be involved with and come see for themselves. – Marisa R. ‘20
I appreciate what I have and, especially during Lent, try to love everything around me. – Olivia M. ’19
I helped out a student when they were short on money for lunch. – Katherine M. ‘21
I helped my sister clean her room when she came home. – Hannah D ‘21
I volunteer with the Hemophilia Foundation and work with children with blood disorders, and we will be taking them out to dinner to celebrate. – Kristin L. ‘21
On Valentine’s Day, I am giving people jars of candy with notes at the bottom about why I love them. – Erin C. ‘21
Many students talked about the impact random acts of kindness have on a person’s day. These seemingly small actions can go a long way towards expressing love to the community around us.
- Giving compliments to people
- Going out of our way to do nice things for everyone
- Helping other students study for tests or with their homework
- Smiling at people
- Holding the door for others
- Sharing positive affirmations
Throughout the next forty days, we will fast, reflect, and aim to better ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. During a time where many focus on what we are giving up—eating sweets, drinking soda, spending too much time on our phones—we should also remember what we are sharing with others. Especially when it comes to love.