Gratitude and Appreciation for Valentine’s Day

Posted by on Feb 11, 2016 in The Human Side | 7 comments

Gratitude and Appreciation for Valentine’s Day

Gratitude left unexpressed leaves people feeling unappreciated.

There are some holidays that can be harder than others because of expectations about what they mean. Valentine’s Day can be one of those days because for many (myself included) there is no romantic partner to present flowers, go to dinner with, or give the beautiful piece of jewelry. Within those gifts however, is really more than just romantic love. There is a grounding in what that person has brought to your life. And, there are many people that we have that same grounding with, even if it does not manifest itself in romantic love.

If you struggle with Valentine’s Day, perhaps the best thing to do is to acknowledge that gratitude and express your appreciation for those people who have demonstrated love and care to you, who have made your life more perfect by their part in it. There is also an opportunity to appreciate those people who share their own version of love everyday with those who often are undervalued.

I met with a group of leaders from one of my clients this week, and in speaking to them about their work, I found myself getting emotional. I had tears in my eyes as I left the office. They are not the only clients I am grateful for. Yes, part of my gratitude is based in their faith in me to help them to build their own capacity. But it is mostly because of the work that they choose to do. Their commitment to the missions of their agencies, their willingness to work with people who many others have no appreciation for, their willingness to embrace those with substance abuse issues, mental illness, disabilities, or those in poverty inspires me and gives me faith in human kind.

So – to all my clients and those in the non-profit community, thank you for adding hope to the hopeless, joy to those who experience mostly sadness, skills where there are gaps, options where none are seen, systems change where there is resistance, wellness where there is illness, efforts where there is a vacuum, beauty where there is blight, and kindness where there is disgust.

I offer this space for you to express your own appreciation to those amazing individuals and organizations who give their own version of love everyday to people who often feel unloved.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Thank you for being you.


Mary Beth


  1. Great piece and spot on. Thanks Mary Beth!!!!

    • You have a long appreciation for the work that non-profits do Steve. Thanks.

  2. Thanks Mary Beth. We are grateful for all you do too. Happy Valentines Day.

    • Thank you Rob! Your agency leads the way in demonstrating love by building capabilities, understanding, and empowerment for so many! It has been a privilege working with you all these years.

  3. Love this! It is really helpful to think about Valentine’s Day differently. I remember feeling overwhelmed and upset a few years ago when I didn’t have a partner and I walked into a store that just oozed Valentine’s consumerism. I have always been grateful for the people who remind me how loved I am.

    And I want to give a shout out to all those teachers who work with struggling students. You inspire me every day.

    • Absolutely – teachers deserve a shout out! Thanks for your comment Colleen.

  4. Thank you for sharing this. I just saw this and even though Valentine’s Day is over , it indeed was a tough holiday. Yes, My youngest children were here with me but this is my 1st Valentine’s Day alone since leaving a DV situation. Especially hard but know that things will get better even though they are truly difficult right now. Thank you for inspiring me as I have been exploring options of finishing my education and exploring all of the possibilities. Want to pay it forward and help others to see there is Hope. ❤️

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