Someone loves you.
Yes, you. You. The one reading this. You right there.
Since I haven’t met everyone on the planet yet, I’ll be honest–I can’t necessarily tell you who it is that loves you. At least, I can’t tell you who it is that loves you in the way you most want/need to be loved; I can tell you that I love you, sight unseen, simply because I believe all people are deserving of love and respect, so for what that’s worth, you’ve got that. But I also have every reason to believe that everyone on this planet has someone other than me who loves them–or someone who will love them–and today is a very, very good day to talk about that.
So let’s talk about it, shall we?
Among my loved ones, I have:
- Folks of all different sizes and shapes, from the wee petite things all the way up to those of us who are shaped a bit more like buffaloes.
- Folks ranging in age from “still baking; check back in a few months” to “barreling toward 100 in a golf cart tricked out to look like a Model T”.
- Folks from a wide variety of faiths, not all of which I entirely understand or agree with but all of which I respect even if they disagree with one another.
- Folks from a wide variety of income levels (and yet somehow almost all of us wish we had more money, no matter where we land on that sliding fiscal scale).
- Folks with jobs so widely disparate that, hilariously, some of them actually work in direct competition with each other.
- Folks who posted all the same memes as I did before the last election, and folks with whom I should really, really avoid politics as a topic of polite dinner conversation.
- Folks who make beautiful music, and folks who can’t sing a note to save their blessed lives.
- Folks whose athleticism is inspiring, and folks who couldn’t run a mile if they were being chased by a pack of rabid wolverines (you go on ahead; I’ll just lie down here and distract ’em for you).
- Folks for whom English is their first language, folks for whom it’s their second language, and folks who only know a few words of English and rely heavily on gestures to communicate.
- Folks I see daily, folks I haven’t seen in 20 years, and folks I’ve never met in person at all.
- Folks of literally every gender identity and/or sexual orientation I can think of.
- Folks whose skin tones represent most of the varieties that human skin color can be.
- Folks whose disabilities do not define them, and folks whose lack of disability does not limit their capacity for empathy.
- Some folks I don’t even like all that well, and how’s that for emotional gymnastics?
…And those are just the people I love. There are easily hundreds of people represented by that list; so if we assume there are 7 billion people on this planet, and a given person can love, say, 150 folks (as a semi-arbitrary number–there’s a whole big discussion about people’s “monkeysphere” averaging around 150 folks, but you can read about that on your own), then…
/does some quick math
…only around 47 million people need to love to capacity and the entire world is covered. For the record, that’s roughly the population of Ukraine. Generating enough love to make sure that everyone on earth has at least one person who loves ’em. And I’m pretty sure love is not confined to Ukraine…at least, I know I don’t live there, so there’s at least one outlier.
Here’s the moral of this story: There are 7 billion people on this planet, and it only takes 47 million of them to guarantee that every one of us has at least one other person who cares about us.
This means that someone out there loves you.
Yes, you. You. The one reading this.
So if you can name the person (or people) who loves you, maybe take a quick second to tell them that you love them too. They deserve to hear it, just as surely as you do.
And if you can’t name them yet, give it a minute–the world is a big place, so it may take them a little while to find you in this giant haystack of humanity. That’s ok; in the meantime, you can work on loving yourself (which, for the record, is like the hardest thing ever, and I totally get that–but it’ll give you a way to pass the time).
And if nobody else ever pops up to say that you’re on their list of loved ones (pretty unlikely, by the way), then know that you’re on mine. I may not be able to hug everyone in person, but I can send out this virtual hug to you (*hugs!*)…because no matter who you are, or what you do, or how you look, you are worthy and deserving of love.
Yes, you. The one reading this.
I love you.
Happy Valentine’s Day,