Ahhh…the holiday for lovers…and love. Passion, along with persistence and patience, is directly linked to this very famous holiday. If you know the original story of Valentine’s Day, you know why it has gone down in the annals of history. Let me share St. Valentine’s Story…
St. Valentine lived in Rome during the third century. At that time, Rome was ruled by an emperor named Claudius. Valentine wasn’t the only one that didn’t like Emperor Claudius! A lot of people shared his feelings.Claudius wanted to have a big army. He expected men to volunteer to join. Many men just did not want to fight in wars. They did not want to leave their wives and families. As you might have guessed, not many men signed up. This made Claudius furious. So what happened? He had this crazy idea of not allowing anyone to marry. He thought that if men were not married, they would not mind joining the army. So Claudius decided to enforce this idea of his. Young people thought his new law was cruel, as did St. Valentine. He knew he couldn’t support this new law, because it was against God’s laws. St. Valentine was a priest and he took orders from God only. He took a lot of pride in marrying couples. Even after Emperor Claudius passed his law, he kept on performing marriage ceremonies — secretly, of course. It was really quite exciting. Imagine a small candlelit room with only the bride and groom and the priest. I imagine they would whisper the words of the ceremony, listening all the while for the steps of soldiers.One night, they actually heard those feared footsteps. It must have been very scary! The couple escaped, but St. Valentine wasn’t so fortunate. He was thrown in jail and told that his punishment was death. He stayed cheerful even knowing his fate. Many young people came to the jail to visit him. They threw flowers and notes up through his window, to show their admiration of him. They wanted him to know that they, too, believed in love. One of these young people was the daughter of the prison guard. Her father allowed her to visit whenever she wanted. Sometimes they sat and talked for hours. She helped him to keep his spirit up. She agreed that it was the right thing to ignore the Emperor and go ahead with the secret marriages. On the day St. Valentine was to die, he left his friend a note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. It was signed, “Love from your Valentine.” That simple, heart-felt note, started the custom of exchanging love messages on Valentine’s Day. It was written on the day he died, February 14, 269 A.D. Now, every year on this day, people remember. But most importantly, they think about love and friendship. So, when you think of Emperor Claudius, you can remember how he tried to stand in the way of love, and laugh — because you know that love can’t be snuffed out.
I think I was the only salon owner in my home town that required a signature on a contract when prospective stylists applied for a position at my place of business. The contract was for them as much as it was for me. It told me they were serious about what they were going to embark upon. There was never a time that any of the great gals who worked alongside me, didn’t know what I expected during their stay. Well, with the exception maybe, of the gal who convinced me she spoke English well enough to communicate with English-speaking clients. I must have had blinders (maybe earplugs as well) on that day, wanting to bring her on staff because of our Latino community.
I provided an atmosphere, not only for the client, but for the stylists and myself as well. One that was void of gossip, bad language, and unclean spaces. If we are to spend the majority of our waking hours at our businesses, shouldn’t our surroundings be pleasant? Shouldn’t we be PASSIONATE about what we do…like St. Valentine was? Shouldn’t we PERSIST in the face of weariness? Shouldn’t we, of all things, be PATIENT knowing that with patience comes true love?
In this new endeavor of mine, I have had moments of discouragement and impatience. Who would have guessed…this person that lets very little get in her way of making things happen, also has moments of self-doubt? I think St. Valentine may have had his moments also. Except when the young girl came to encourage him.
We, also, need to encourage each other…especially when we see that lonely look in another’s eyes. The look of doubt, discouragement, and disillusionment. Once we’ve made the commitment to see passion through, that old hum-bug Claudius (aka FEAR) can’t throw lasting discouragement at us, like keeping clients from our door. True love will start to blossom for our profession.
Remember…Passion, Persistence, Patience…all winning attitudes. Happy Valentine’s Day!!!