Love is in the air. And with Valentine’s Day being celebrated today, romance will be at its peak. Everyone will be forced to think how to make the person you love feel special and cared. Buying gifts, going out for a romantic candle light dinner or just surprising the one you love in some mysterious ways — all these are on almost everyone’s mind today.
While many Valentine’s Day celebrations would be about that special girl or boy, some have gone to expand the concept of love to their other near and dear ones — parents, grand parents, siblings and friends.
Expression of love need not be limited to a particular person of the other gender. It can be very vast and all inclusive. The very basis of love means being limitless and forever.
How would a person like Chanakya install the feeling of ‘love’ and ‘care’ among us? Let us take a glimpse into Kautilya’s Arthashastra:
“The horse attendant shall receive from the treasury and the magazine a month’s allowance (for the horse) and carefully look after it.” (2.30.3)
Here we are talking about a horse attendant, who probably is one of the lowest rank employees in the government list. However, Chanakya cares for even a person like him. He is speaking about paying him the required money so that he can do his work properly.
The attendant is given advance allowance so that he does not have to shell out money from his own pocket. And, when given financial power he will do his work of taking care of the horses carefully.
But, if that person is not paid he will cut corners and may even steal from the fodder that’s kept for the horses to fill his pockets. Thus, the person will become corrupt and the horses will not be taken care of.
Is this not a message for us to take care of our people at home and work places? That is a true expression of ‘love’ and ‘care’ and they will be committed to the work allocated to them. Here are some ways in which you can show your love and concern to near and dear ones.
Pay them more than required
This may look odd, but paying a person more than expected is an expression of love, care and concern. We always give people what they need. But give them something more than required and they will be thrilled.
It is not the ‘extra’ money that matters. But the ‘freedom’ to spend that extra money in whatever they want. I have a request to all members of a family where there are women who are not earning. Such dedicated homemakers are always undervalued.
If you have a sister, wife or a mother who is not working, pay her more than the amount required for home expenses. Let her spend it on herself a bit. Let her feel happy and cared for. Remember, she will give back that love to you many times multiplied. A good way to practice women empowerment.
Rewards and recognition
Another way to show concern to people is giving them awards and rewards. Many companies have the ‘best employee’ or such awards given to performers. These awards are usually presented during annual events or important gatherings. And, the recipients of the awards feel quite elevated with the recognition.
Even the governments do that. Awards like Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, Padma Vibhushan, Bharat Ratna, etc., are recognitions that stay with you forever. The nation has recognised your contribution and appreciates you through these rewards and awards.
Spend quality and quantity time
Love is all about spending time with your loved ones. Nothing can replace that. Take out an hour everyday and spend it with your family; go out once in a week; go on a vacation with your loved ones once a year — all this amounts to quality and quantity time.
We stay in the same house, but we are never connected at all. The heart-to-heart connection between members of the family is what makes a ‘house’ a true ‘home’. House is made of bricks, while a home is made of feelings and emotions. So, if you truly someone, be with that person through thick and thin, in good and bad times.
As Swami Chinmayananda said, “To love everyone, and being loved by everyone, is the greatest achievement of life.”
(The writer is Founder-Director of Chanakya Aanvikshiki Pvt Ltd, a bestselling author and an expert on Chanakya’s teachings. He can be followed on his twitter @rchanakyapillai)