Remember why we remember

Most Memorial Days, a blog post writes itself.

  • Remember why we remember.
  • They gave so you can live.
  • It’s not all about parades and picnics.

Toss in a graphic with a soldier kneeling in front of a cross holding a helmet and we’re ready to move on to next week’s post.

This year feels different. I just know those whom we remember when we get around to remembering didn’t give themselves over to our faulty memories for what we’ve turned their country into. I think I can say that because I too served.  You likely didn’t know that. I’ll mention it now and then but it isn’t what defines me. Just another one of the many “used to be”s I used to be. But I used to be one long enough that I spent much time getting to know why we do what we do, or did.

Most of the people I served with were volunteers, those who weren’t had long served their obligations and their continued service was by choice, so we were all there by choice. People chose to serve for a variety of reasons. Some traded education for service time. Some looked to the service to learn or strengthen skills. Some looked to it as an end in itself, a career. Some just felt the need to do something.

None of the men or women I served with were killed in action while we served. Their names won’t be called out at noon today. It makes hearing the names, the bells, and the wail of a single bugle that much more meaningful to think others who held the same positions, did the same jobs, work the same duties would not be picnicking after noon.

Fortunately they won’t have to see what a mess we’ve made of their country.

We are called to serve one another and most days, there are plenty of opportunities to do so. Good caring friends can serve others to make life more meaningful. The most recent Uplift! explains how even among 3 geese, friend mean a more meaningful life!





I had a very busy month the last couple of weeks. Yes, you read that right. I had more things going on in April than there were days in April! Some of them resulted in more than a few hilarious moments and were more than blog-worthy. Somehow, I couldn’t bring myself to write about any of them.

Last week there was an unsettling piece in the local news.  Four and a half years almost to the day after the Tree of Life shootings added Pittsburgh the list of cities that had hosted mass shootings, jury selection finally began for the trial of the man seen on camera, walking into a local synagogue and shooting 13 people, 11 fatally, while they were attending Saturday morning services. Four and a half years those families had to watch other families of victims of violence find some solace and maybe even some closure from crimes that happens years after the massacre that took their loved ones. Are we so jaded by killing we can take our good old time seeking justice?

During those 4-1/2 years over 1,900 mass shootings have happened in the US (I’m using the definition of mass shooting is one where 4 people excluding the shooter are killed or injured in a single incident.), 53 in April. Perhaps the most heinous was one of the most recent occurring on April 29 when 5 people were killed after asking a neighbor to stop shooting his gun in the front yard in Cleveland, Texas.

After each of the 1,940 mass shootings in the last 4-1/2 years, calls for gun control have been made and successfully opposed in the name if the Second Amendment. You remember that one.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Some day, somebody from the NRA can tell me how killing 5 of your neighbors because they asked for some quiet, or killing 11 of them while they worshipped their God, is “necessary to the security of a free State.”

I’ll try to find some hilarious anecdotes for next week.

Too often we are defined by the work we do. Is that because we surround ourselves with work friends? We owe to ourselves and our closest contacts to see that our “loved ones” truly are our loved ones. In the most recent Uplift! we talk about why.


I’ve been had

They’re out to get us!

In the course of 12 hours on Saturday I got 45 legitimate, expected emails. I thought that was a lot. That’s why I counted them. But there they were and there they were all with a reason for being there. They were headlines form the two local papers and headlines from the Associated Press and from Apple News and updates from two magazines I subscribe to. Three were from clubs or associations I belong to. There were five from Word Press, three new blogs from those I subscribed and two were stray “likes” to older posts of mine. A few were from stores I routinely order from, one was a delivery update on an order I am expecting. Oh yes, and there were even a handful from real people checking in. I had accounted for 45 emails that didn’t surprise me by being there.

Unfortunately during that 12 hour period, I had received a total of 141 emails. Sixty of those were shuttled to the Junk email box. That left 36. Those 36 were hanging out in my regular Inbox but weren’t expected to be there, nor were they from legitimate correspondents. Yes, they were spam. And not the tasty kind Hormel packs into those neat little tins. These were not only spam, they were phishing schemes designed to wheedle personal information to leverage my embarrassingly low financial accounts. Well, 28 of the 36 were phishing schemes. The other 8 were just annoying.

And just to make things a little more interesting, of the sixty emails that were sent to the junk folder, two were from my electric company following up on the power outages created by the storms during the previous week. Yes, the people who created the rules for our spam filters thought that I would be interested in “Real Russian women looking for love” but not in service updates from a legitimate public utility. [sigh]

Why do I bring this up now. Well, a couple of things happened that make this all a little more interesting. I don’t recall if I mentioned in a recent post but I am in the midst of a move, a personal relocation, a “pack everything you own into 80-100  itty bitty boxes and some strangers in a big truck will get them to your new abode” activity. One of the related activities is notify everybody who routinely sends you real mail – banks, insurance companies, magazine publishers, and such – of my new physical address. The last time I moved, all that sort of stuff had to be done in person or by phone. Now, many of them can be done on line. In the process of updating all the personal information profiles in all these sites are requests from them to add, confirm, or change any emails I’d want from them. From most I prefer no email correspondence. In fact, in most instances, I prefer no correspondence from them. Of course there were some companies I had not had a previous “internet connection” (tee her) and had to complete their profile including an email address along with a local street address, and all of them with the obligatory, “check here to confirm you have read and understand our 574 page statement of privacy practices.” Now I’m wondering if one of those that I so blithely clicked my way through was informing me they would be selling their mailing lists to the highest bidder. And maybe even the second and third highest bidders as consolation prizes.

Yeah, they’re out to get us, and I’ve been gotten.

Into everyone’s life rain falls. We can’t control what happens in life but we can control how we respond. That’s why in the most recent Uplift! We suggested that when life gives you lemons, make banana bread! Read about it here!


As I Like It

Guess what? Today is not the day we’ve all been waiting for. Maybe next week.

Lately I’ve had a lot of random old posts garnering new “likes” which is nice that people find something in an older blog post that still generates a smile today, but is also a little disconcerting because I don’t think there are real people behind all of those thumbs ups. Why would I question their validity or even reality you reasonably inquire? Well…

I seem to get these random “likes” in waves. Someone (or perhaps “someone”) will like a post from 2017 and within a week, 20 other people (or maybe “people”) have liked the same post. It is possible the “someone” made mention of that post in his/her/their/its/one’s blog and all the “people” who follow him/her/them/it/one all rushed over, read it, and liked it just as well and wanted to make their (whew!) own acknowledgment of likedness. (No, that’s not a typo.) Then the following week, a post from 2020 suddenly captures the attention of a dozen random readers (or “readers”).

No sooner do the “likes” start popping up that new “followers” hop on board the RRSB bandwagon. Of course they could be real people. If they are, they really should reconsider their blog name. Perhaps they are just trolling for followers of their own and forgive me questioning the sincerity of Icangetyoudiscounttraveldealsdotcom, but really, he/she/they/it/one can do better than that!

Please know that I have nothing against people liking my posts. “People” liking them is another thing. I’d rather have 2 people like a post than 22 “people” liking it. Nor do I scoff at followers. I can use all the followers I can get. Tracking followers isn’t as easy as one might think. According to WordPress, my blog has 938 followers but my average visitor rate is 121 views. My blog posts are distributed in their entirety in the email blasts that accompany the online publication, so an email recipient can read the entire post and never enter the blog site, thus not be counted among the readers. I doubt that means 817 people are reading this particular blog in their emails every week. In fact, I know it doesn’t. The follower count never goes down. People unsubscribe, leave the platform, mark the emails as ‘junk,’ or otherwise give up on reading blogs – in general or mine specifically [sniff]. When that happens, it happens, but it isn’t reflected in your followers. This blog has been running for 7&½ years. Over that time, subscribers have given up on it but who knows who or how many.

If tracking followers is difficult, tracking “likes” should not be. People read a post, their like it, the click on “like.” Occasionally they click on “comment” and, umm, comment on it. I can pretty much be sure those are real people. Advancements in AI notwithstanding. And typically within a week, everybody who is going to read a post and either “like” or “comment” on it, or not, will have done so. But then every now and then, something strange happens in the world where posts never go to die. Are there really random people who genuinely liked “Remotely Technological” from August 2018?Perhaps, but 27 random people?

Sounds more like “people” to me.

Although our days are finite, they offer us infinite opportunities. Even when you feel there aren’t enough hours in the day, there is always enough time for what’s important. Ask any turtle. Better still, read about it in the latest Uplift!


Springing up all over

This is it, today is the day, the day we’ve all been waiting … okay I’m not going to do that again. I have no idea what you’re waiting for but indeed, today is the day I have been waiting for, for today, at 5:24 this afternoon (per the Old Farmer’s Almanac), winter turns to spring!

As far as winters go, this has been the mildest winter I can recall, and I recall a lot of winters.  But it started output terribly cold, super cold, super terribly cold even, and I never got over the coldness of those first few days of Winter 2022-2023 even when some of the days in February approached and in at least one case exceeded 70°F. I think it might be because in between those 70° days there was always a 30° day. Do you know what that’s like? Well if you lived within 10 or 12 miles of me you do. Anything outside that radius and you were having you own weird winter weather that may or may not have had daily 40° temperature swings.

Of course that was only in February. In March, it has been just plain cold. It snowed the past two days. It snowed 4 days out of the past 7. The temperature hasn’t been above freezing since Friday afternoon. I’m done with this. Today I fully expect at 5:24 this afternoon to hear birds singing, see flowers blooming, and watch trees leaf out before my very eyes. If that doesn’t happen, I want to know right now, who to go to for a refund. The old Old Farmer’s Almanac never let me done before. I expect it to not let me down now.

I do hope I haven’t led you to believe that I’m being unreasonable about this. I think as I get older, and Heaven knows, I’ve gotten older(!), I’ve grown less tolerant of cold, but more less tolerant of these crazy temperature swings. I’m sure I would have been not as disconcerted with this winter if it had just stayed being winter for it’s duration, or maybe a gradual and slight warming as we approached this year’s vernal equinox. (Good word, no?) Rumor has it, La Niña, the lesser famous but more troublesome Pacific wind current, is, after three years, winding down. Those who know say this has been a major contributor to the weird weather patterns we’ve been experiencing. (Please note, I said weird weather patterns, not concerning climate conditions – there is a difference.) If we get a year of neutral weather influences we might see seasons that actual look like Currier and Ives envisioned and that would be okey dokey with me. But for now, I’ll settle for birds singing, flowers blooming, and leaves once again covering those bare branches, sometime later today.

So then, what is the day we’ve all been waiting for. Altogether now – TODAY! Thank you very much. I knew I could count on you.

Anything worth having takes effort. With trust in the process what is worth having can be yours. In the latest Uplift!we explore why making a good life is like making good pizza!


The most wonderful time of the year

It’s almost here. The day we’ve been waiting for. (Don’t you just love ads, articles, blogs even that start that way. Like all of the world is “we.” It’s like the YouTube videos that begin, “You’re doing [something incredibly common and impossible to do wrong] wrong.”) (But I digress.) The day we’ve (cough cough) been waiting for is almost here.  Yes…[dramatic overture type music]…it’s Oscar time. (You know I’m really not allowed to say that. It’s copyrighted and a couple years ago they were going after those using it without permission hard. Yeah, well, tough on them! I said it!) Now where was I. Oh yes, it’s Oscar time!

For movie buffs, it really is a big time. Those awards still hold a mystique among awards, and people who live and die for movies have no real life. 

I’m sorry.  I didn’t mean to say that.

Take 2! People who live and die for movies look forward to this time of year like normal people look forward to Groundhog Day. And I can say that because I too look forward to Oscar season. Oh not for the awards. I mean I guess they’re okay even though they really have gotten away from awarding the best performances and replaced that with awarded the performances that have the most to say but then sometimes that happens to be the same picture like last year. That was a good movie and I can’t wait to se it again when it’s like 40 years old. Umm…

Oh darn,I lost my place again. Don’t go anywhere. Hmm, people live and die. Look forward to too. I’m one of them. Oh yeah, I found it.

And I can say that because I too am one of them. One of the them who look forward to Oscar season but not for the awards. I look forward to this time of year because my favorite television station, TCM, plays an entire month of Oscar nominated and winning films from when they really were really good. I’ve said many times, my passion is old movies, preferably pre-1950s, certainly pre-1960s, and a rare one after that.

There was a difference in the movies from 70 and 80 years ago. There will never be a movie couple so well matched as William Powell and Myrna Loy. There will never be an actress so perfect in every role she played as Audrey Hepburn. Nor a musical as free spirited as Singing in the Rain, or a drama as soul searching as The Red Shoes. And there will never be another Casablanca. What made so many of the great movies of the golden age of movies such great movies is something we will never see again in movie land. The studio system. So completely controlling of all that went in the it should be The Studio System.

Take Casablanca as an example. Every part was perfectly cast. Not just the leading roles which none of the leads were who the producer Hal Wallis wanted but who the studio gave him. Even the director Michael Curtiz was not the first choice. All off the minor characters filled their roles like they had been doing those jobs for ever. And they had. Actors then were on contract to the studios and they all filled a niche. You want a bartender? They got an actor who played a bar tender so often he’d be a better bartender than a bartender. Do you need a street vendor? Central casting has a dozen to pick from, what do you want to sell? The system worked. Casablanca was nominated for 8 academy Awards and came away with 3, best picture, best director, and best adapted screenplay.

So next Sunday while most movie maniacs will be glued to their sets to see who gets slapped this year, I’ll be halfway through a smorgasbord of the best movies, some that even won for being the best movie when being the best mean being the best and the only message was “let us entertain you.”

Every moment of every day has the potential to be one that will be never forgotten. Those memorable moments can be anything and happen anytime. Last week in Uplift! we asked, will some moment today be your most memorable?


Intelligently speaking

Somebody out there please note in the comments section if you have NOT heard ANYTHING about Artificial Intelligence written ANYWHERE ANYTIME since the beginning of this year. Oh My Gigabytes you can’t open a web page, a journal, a newspaper, an e-zine, and OG magazine, an ANYTHING without some reference to AI. AI wrote this, AI didn’t write this, AI picked this song list, AI can go screw itself. Arrggh!

First of all, those old enough to remember “The Jetsons,” isn’t this what we dreamed of? We wake up and a robot picks out our clothes, another makes our breakfast, there’s one offering us the morning AI written newspaper, and then off to our self-flying cars, whisking us to work where we push a button and a robot punches us in, and another prints out the day’s workflow completed by a series of techno bots. All before our morning coffee break.

If you’re concerned the robots are planning an uprising and are after your job, house, spouse, or pet mouse, listen up. They aren’t. But just in case, I say we get in front of the issue and work out a task list they can start with. For instance:

AI mediated email spam filters. Clearly deciphering “***L-A-S-T-C-H-A-N-C-E before we !SUSPEND! your account***” as a suspicious missive is too difficult for the unintelligent spam filters that come with our email providers. I bet if an AI bot can write tomorrow’s weather forecast, it can predict bad things will happen if a human opens that email.

AI mediated traffic signals. The next time you are stopped at a traffic light, look up. Up there where the lights are hanging. Yes, there. You will see a plethora, or a lot even, of doo-dads that read license plates, count cars going by, adjust the light brightness based on the ambient light, and hold pigeons up (crows in rural areas). But they can’t tell that I’m the only car there and within 3 blocks in any direction, idling away, waiting out the full 2 minute cycle before I can proceed. Clearly, we need a more intelligent traffic signal handler. While we’re out there on the road, it also would be nice if those signs on the highways that tell you it’s 2 miles to the next exit with food can tell you if the line at the drive thru is also 2 miles.

AI mediated laundry centers (also know as expensive washers and dryers sold in sets). I have said this before, the only instruction Americans can be counted to follow is “Dry Clean Only” and that’s only if they can decode the hieroglyphs that are taking over printed instructions. It was hard enough finding the tabs and making out handling instructions printed in light gray on white tags when they were written with words. You know: “cold water like colors lay flat to dry do not iron do not bleach do not wear to grandmas house are you sure these don’t make your butt look fat.” Now we have a picture of a highball glass with wavy lines in it and a slash through it. There might very well be a translation guide in the washer instruction book but that’s one of the instructions we don’t read so just give us an AI washer that can figure it out for us.

Okay. Now I think I’ll go fill a highball glass highway with bourbon, top it with more bourbon, and have enough of those until everything looks wavy while my robot vacuum cleaner picks up after me. Have a good day!

We make important choices every day and anyone of them, even the ones that may seem insignificant at the time, can be life changing. In Uplift! at we suggest treating them all as if they are. Go on and click it. It’s only a 3 minute read.


It’s a miracle

This will be my last post before the the western chunk of the Christian world begins Lent. Because I am part of that chunk, I thought today’s post should reflect some of the Lenten spirit. I hold a special spot in my heart for Lent, not because I am one who particularly enjoys suffering, but because I do enjoy miracles.

Ask most people to explain it, whether they do or do not celebrate Lent, they will respond with the simple, and simplistic, response, “oh, that’s when you give up something.” True enough, for those who never progressed past their kindergarten level catechism class, sure, that’s Lent. It’s something to do. In the Catholic world, we approach it with a near slogan observation that we celebrate Lent through prayer, fasting, and almsgivimg. Without getting into an extended theological discussion of the origins and meanings of each of those Lenten activities, let’s just stipulate that it is a better description than “when you give up something.” So where is this miracle?

Although many would like to believe Lent is there so we know when to celebrate Mardi Gras, there is a more prescient reason for Lent. Lent is a 40 day journey, from Ash Wednesday through Holy Thursday, of self control, self discipline, and preparation for the resurrection of Jesus on Easter. It’s a faith thing. There’s no explanation, other than to do it because we believe. And if we prepare ourselves well, we can participate in that miracle, the miracle of the Resurrection. Of new life.

If you had asked me to explain Lent eleven years ago, I likely would have answered, “oh that’s when you give up something.” If you had asked me three years ago, I likely would have answered, “hmm, let me get back to you on that.” Why? What was going on during those seven years? I am certain there are little miracles happening every day. Most of us are too human to notice them. There are some big miracles happening every day and we still may not notice them. Please sit back, and join me on a Lenten journey and see if we can spot a few miracles along the way.

Twenty-two years ago I was diagnosed with a condition we now call Granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA), then called Wegener’s Disease. At that time, before most of the current, common treatments had been developed, the mortality rate was between 28% and 45% at 12 months, the wide range due to different organ involvement. The current treatments, which have resulted in a close to 97% survival rate, were not commonly used until the 2010s. That I lived ten years to make it to the current treatment landscape is a miracle and an opportunity that I could live life anew. Of course, that was when I was young and stupid and was certain it just ”wasn’t my time.”

In January 2013 I was diagnosed with bladder cancer, “regional,” or what in other cancers may be tagged as stage 2, that is cancer that has progressed to other nearby structures or organs. The surgeries I underwent to clear the cancer were long and not without complications, such that I spent most of the first year after surgery in the hospital. The 5 year survival rate for regional bladder cancer is 38%. That I lived to make it to 2018 was a miracle, but I was slightly older and angry and “I had more to worry about than just cancer.”

In 2018 I was undergoing the first of the requirements to determine if I might be a candidate for a kidney transplant. By then I had been on dialysis for a little over 2 years, complications of GPA and probably not helped by having had an entirely new bladder and “removal” system rebuilt from other parts of me. The what seemed like endless orders of tests and procedures all had to be scheduled around the three days a week I was attached to the dialysis machine when I’d watch my blood flow out of me through one tube, and back into me through another after having had done to it whatever the magical combination of salts and electronics did to it while it was inside the machine. But tested and processed I was and a year later I had my transplant. The day after Memorial Day 2019 I was in the hospital and 2 days later functioning quite nicely without the help of my thrice weekly companion, the dialysis machine. And that lasted for 2 more days after that. Then blood clots set in. Unable to be cleared by drugs or surgeons, and at risk for even greater complications, the decision was made to remove the transplanted kidney and return me to dialysis. If I lived that long. And by the middle of June of 2019 I was back to the clinic, visiting my old friends more often than I wanted. But then something happened. Test results came back with unexpected results, output returned to almost normal levels. By the end of the year doctors were conferring regularly about “my case” and on January 21, 2020, I had my last dialysis session, displaying a far from normal but still quite adequate renal function courtesy of my one remaining “old” kidney. The doctors cited a lot of technical possibilities but most were happy explaining it as a miracle. Three times in twenty years I had been given chances of rebirth into a new life. This time I sat up and paid attention.

So am I approaching Lent as “that’s when you give up something,” or will I more likely use it to seek ways to follow my God more faithfully, and prepare for the miracle of Resurrection and a chance to again begin a new life with Jesus? I’ll take the miracle please.


Know someone who didn’t get any Valentines? If your mailbox was empty last week, give yourself the gift of love! It’s the perfect gift for anyone, even you! Find out why we say that in Uplift! at

Ad Wars – Holiday edition

I am so looking forward to tomorrow, it is palpable! Feel it in the air! Capture its essence on the wind! Yes, I’m talking about Holiday Advertisement Armistice! We can all breathe a sigh of relief!! For a day or two.

I know I’m not the only one who can tell the season by the ads on TV and now on line too. Fragrances? If it’s snowing outside we must be coming up on Christmas. If there are birds singing it’s getting close to Mothers Day. Otherwise, you better have a good deodorant if you want to smell good. Televisions, really big televisions and power tools? Fathers Day will soon be here with the tools needed to build a world class man cave and the electronics to fill it. Caribbean resorts flooding the airways? We must getting close to Thanksgiving so we can plan for some warm sunny days on white sand and leave the white snow behind. And jewelry? Clearly Valentine’s Day approaches. Oh there might be some token pieces in May for Moms Day, and Christmas is always good for a nice necklace, but they pale to the brilliance of the gems you find on air during the first two weeks of February.

Personally, I’m getting sick of finding pictures on diamonds the size of baby heads mounted on rings of the shiniest metals retouching can allow in my Instagram feed. Maybe I’m in the minority but I wouldn’t even consider proposing, or want to be proposed to, on February 14, January 1, December 25, or my intended’s birthday. Show a little originality! Make it a moment that will always be remembered for the special occasion that it is. It should be a special day only those two share. In 40 years when she turns to he and says, “Do you remember when you asked me to marry you?” the answer shouldn’t be, “Duh, yeah…Valentine’s Day. I remember cuz it was right after the Super Bowl. That reminds me. We’re out of beer. [Burp!].”

But then what do I know. I’ll be the one spending Valentine’s Day with my therapist and then going to the neighborhood pub for the Tuesday hamburger lunch special before heading home to check and make sure the ring I bought back then is still in its case, in the back of the sock drawer, just in case someday (but not Valentine’s Day) she changes her mind.

And I’m looking forward to a few days of respite before images of green milkshakes clog up Instagram.

We all owe something to someone for our existence. We explore how we repay them in Uplift! On


All you need…

You certainly have noticed that at the end of each post I include a teaser to the current ROAMcare blog. From the ROAMcare website we explained how I and my co-founding partner are attempting to help people “bridge the gap from existing to living and refresh your enthusiasm for life!” We aren’t special any way.  We are ordinary people who have a desire to live what years we have in positivity and to invite others to join us in that endeavor. Our blog posts are drawn from our experiences.

Last week’s message resounded with me more deeply than any we had yet published. It is the essence of bridging the gap from existing to living. Like so many of the most profound concepts, it’s strength lies in its simplicity. If I was to write a teaser for this blog it would be,“As we begin February and almost everybody’s first thought is of love, let us consider those we love with all types of love, and tell them we love them.”

Today I’m going to do something I’ve never done.Instead of a teaser to the current post I am reprinting it in its entirety. I feel the message is so needed to be heard by as many people as possible. If you would like to share the message please do. If you should, I only ask that you attribute it to The original post can be found at

Thank you!

Three Little Words

The Oxford English Dictionary lists over 750,000 words in the English language. There are about 171,000 words in common usage. According to a 2007 article in the journal Science, Mathias Mehl and others reported the average American adult speaks about 16,000 words a day. Of all those words, we don’t use many of them to convey our most important messages. Perhaps that is because we only have one word for the most important message of them all – love.

As we begin February, almost everybody’s first thought is of love. For as much that goes on during this, the shortest month of the year, Valentine’s Day holds a lot of attention. Valentine’s Day indeed is for lovers. But love is for so many more!

Humans are social beings. We relish, in fact we need to be with and interact with other humans. Our connections with each other are often born of need but grow because we want to explore and deepen those connections with other individuals, certain individuals. All of those connections are some form of love. The Greeks did it well. They coined seven different words for love, one for each type of love – Romantic, Affectionate, Familial, Selfless, Playful, Committed, and Self love, Eros, Philia, Storge. Agape, Ludus, Pragma, and Philautia respectively. Each type of love exhibits its own characteristics, but no one is more important, more special, more “loving” than any other. And yet, we seldom hear people verbally express their love for others except in the case of Romantic or sometimes Familial love. We are more likely to tell others we love our jobs, we love pizza, we love to travel, or we love swimming, than we are to tell our best friend, “I love you.”

Love is a source of motivation and strength for us as individuals. All types of love can induce the release of dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine, the so-called “feel-good chemicals.” But to affect that release, a relationship with a specific other person must be realized. Simplistically speaking, each form of love demonstrates a specific relationship. Eros involves a physical connection with others. Pragma is characterized by an emotional connection with another. Agape is known by its selfless, almost one-way flow of compassion and concern. But there is no pure form of each love. Some characteristics of each of the seven types of love can be found in all of the seven types of love. And thus, any love can improve a person’s self-worth, build trust, or strengthen family and social ties.

Another trait of humans is the need for physical contact. Reported by the National Institutes of Health is a 1995 study on the significance of physical contact that proposes four hugs per day as an antidote for depression, eight hugs per day to achieve mental stability and twelve hugs per day to possibly affect real psychological growth. We see people engaging more universally in hugging throughout the seven love spectrum. Family members hug each other, care givers hug their charges, friends hug their friends!

We suggest that hugging is an outward sign of love. People respond positively to hugs just as they would to any other indication they are loved, whether a kiss, a physical touch, a clasped hand-shake, a warm smile, or a verbal acknowledgement that they are loved – being told, “I love you!!”

As we begin February and almost everybody’s first thought is of love, let us consider those we love with all types of love, and tell them we love them. If we’re willing to say so to a large pizza it should be easy to admit it to our loving, living connections, no matter what type of love we feel for them. It’s just three little words out of so many you will say today.