Display of affection has largely been limited to romantic relationships. Letters, well-thought-out presents, and grand gestures are often not extended to parents, old friends, grandparents, siblings, and cousins because we take them for granted, but life is unpredictable and we do not have the luxury to lose the opportunity to show our love.
Overt signs of affection include using kind words, verbally reminding the people in our lives that they are loved, going out of our way to make them feel better. More often than not, these gestures are not extended to the people we love the most. Telling your parents you love them sounds silly to a lot of people, “Of course I love them, they are my parents! I don’t need to say it out loud”, is the first thought that comes to mind. We spend a considerable chunk of our lives hiding positive emotions from the people closest to us while anger and resentment are readily expressed.
The biggest mistake we can make, in terms of interpersonal relationships is taking someone who matters a lot to us, for granted. Regret can be unforgiving to those who do not appreciate their gifts and the worst of all regrets is the regret to have not loved enough. Indian middle class households are particularly prone to be unnecessarily stiff, even when there is an ocean of emotion inside. Our parents show their love through “Did you eat” or “Please go to bed on time” rather than by “I love you” or “I am so proud of you”. But their hesitation towards showing love does not give us the license to do the same; it then falls upon us to ensure that we show them the love we feel, even if it is unprecedented in our household.
In our impatience and youth, our fearlessness and arrogance, we assume no harm can come to us or to the ones we care about. We aren’t hardened enough; our purview of the world is utopian. This makes take what we have for granted. Unfortunately, life is far from fair. Tragedy, loss, sickness, separation are an established truth, something we will eventually have to face. Perhaps then, we would regret our audacity and ungratefulness but that regret would come too late. It is therefore imperative that we show love to those we care about without the fear of sounding too sentimental. The greatest gift that human beings have is the gift of emotion; our emotions are complex and all-consuming and sometimes giving them free-reign is the best thing we can do. Therefore, love fearlessly and do not be afraid to let it be known.
Feature Image Credits: Catholic March