Valentine’s Day: the unofficial holiday when people have our involuntary permission to act giddy and shower their significant others with “mountains of affection,” a.k.a. presents. Don’t call me bitter—I’m actually a romantic—but February 14 is NOT about all this saliva-provoking sentimentality. Everyone’s forgotten by now about its true origins and about poor Saint Valentine’s act of compassion that prompted a day dedicated to love. Valentine’s Day is a time for stomach-clenching dread, not high anticipation. Especially when the rest of us who do not celebrate it have to enter any store or public place. Hearts, pink and red, covering the walls. More hearts surrounding every tangible surface. Oh, the horror. But it gets worse. Much, much worse. February 14 turns out to be a day of expectation, not motivation.
I am an idealist at the core, but I generally have a cynical outlook. I do not believe that everyone is “good at heart,” nor do I excuse people’s mistakes with ignorance. The 21st century offers limitless technology and through that, unprecedented access to acquiring knowledge and new skills. Though exceptions do prove the rule, I accept that 95% of the global population has chosen to remain uninformed and to disregard their consciences.
Selfishness is what motivates people and is the hardest vice to overcome, though it can be a tool in its own way. However, like with all tools, it is easier to use it for evil than for good. For me, the purpose of life is to prove to yourself that no matter how frustrated or angry or disgusted or bitter you can become about everything, your goodness will survive despite all obstacles. Everyone makes mistakes, but the wise person learns from those mistakes. Conquering your fears by learning how to confront them is one of life’s most important lessons. No temptations will make you succumb to being less than you are.
What is your life philosophy?
Apparently, Examiner.com, the site that was holding on to my book and movie reviews for years was bought by another company in 2014. However, links to my reviews still worked, which was how I was deceived. In mid-July 2016, without my knowledge, the Examiner shut down completely and with it, all my work and webpages were deleted. I am really disturbed by the fact that there is now no proof that I ever published anything for them. They may have gotten their comeuppance — I hope some extorted writer like myself sued their asses off and won — but my work is 100% gone. I saved my book reviews before to my book review blog, “Around the Bend of the Book,” but links to the originals don’t work. My movie reviews, on the other hand, are completely gone. Damn you, Examiner — as a former contributor, I should have been contacted about the decision to erase my publications!