My previous post was about friends of mine, who got engaged some summers ago. Their wish was to solidify their love by turning the engagement into an oath oath of wedlock. Sadly as we all know students and recent graduate interns, as the stereotype portrays, have very little funds and so the daunting chasm to bridge was not only the 5500 mile journey from Seoul SK, to London GB, but the £1000 flight ticket to top the obstacle.
Normally I suppose one of solid career standing would work for maybe a year or 8 months or with a small loan be able to cover this, but the couple working as interns it was a case of living from paycheck to paycheck. They had exerted all options before proceeding to do what actually proved to be such a rapid solution.
The couple set up a Facebook group explaining their situation and between them invited their combined 1800 friends, and simply claimed that any help whether monetary or functional would be so important. Simple math shows that if each one gave 50 pence, it would reach the total fully, or if half of these people gave a £1 and so on.. If all the money was not raised in totality, then the entire proceeds would be donated to the breast cancer research department. A truly wonderful thing to do in itself.
Personally I believed that people would see this, and because of its organic sincerity and lack of contract or legal protection, would either refuse to give, or give so little that it would not meet the needs of the couple. So as the first day rolled in so did a family donation which was half expected as family would be the first to pull together, of course they had reason they shared the same blood, it was one of their own. So came the second day, nothing more than a few ‘likes’ were the plunder. The third day proved to be similar to the second, and this was repeated until the 4th day. On which a generous sum of £20 was donated by an admirer. It was as if this initial donation sparked trust in the group, and the cause, and donations came flooding in.
On the horizon was valentines day, the 14th of February and the day of all 365 days that celebrated love in its entirety. This day was about true love, genuine passionate love, the feverish, burning, mad adoration that is love. This day can be awash with capitalist exploitation of what true love is, stuffed teddy bears and overpriced jumbo cards stock the shelves, and the message becomes who can spend the most on the biggest surely loves their spouse the greatest of all couples. We as in nature have developed a strange mating dance, warning off other contenders for our mates by competing to see who can exchange the most bits of paper for mass produced love of objects, it would seem insane to the peacock who knows only natural beauty. However this case, this couple their only longing was to be together, to express their love in an eternal pledge to love undying.
Valentines day, the echo of desire and adoration coating the breeze that dances past lovers kissing on street corners, and couples clasping hands. This day brought a fruitful donation to the charity, as was rightfully so a day of love should see a large donation when the cause is that of love. Donations from £3 – £200 throughout the day were seen, and in this economic climate, £200 is a lot to give to a faceless small scale charity but the giving continued. There were so many donations that this day must have contributed 80% of the funds they needed. One after the other, £5, £10, £30, they came in waves upon waves. As a contributor, and so part of the journey, I was almost blinded by the success that this had brought to the couple.
I had to physically cheer, verbalize the joy and and sense of achievement I felt for these two. Not only was it about the reality that the couple had reached their distant goal and would be together again, but the fact that my faith had been restored in love and in people. After so many distressing news articles, videos on social networking sights of terrible act committed by people who bent on hate behave in demonic ways, the light of love still shines bright in the hearts of many. Although some glazed by the love for objects, and some a bit less than true. Love is still burning deep in the hearts and souls of the people, and this fire reaching out to ignite others, and lend a warm hand to those who need it.
Now here is the incredible part. For the sake of love it took only 9 days to raise the money. Something that at the origin seemed so daunting and distant, was accomplish-able in merely 9 days with the help of empathetic, kind-hearted people. Donations ranged from £1 to £200, from family to absolute strangers these people wanted to see the fire of love fueled and concentrated into the marriage of these two, who so longed for each other.
Some of you may not find this as impressive as I did, being that it may be closer to me socially and in meaning. It is the message that I think is important here, which we all can appreciate on a common level. That people are not afraid to give for something that they believe in, when giving to so many untraceable causes, paying bills, and taxes becomes one big ominous blur, give to love. Give to something that is pure, that is familiar, that so many long for in life. Something that is felt from 5500 miles away, or at a glance across a crowded room. If you believe with every fiber of your being, and love from deep within, walls will crumble and obstacles fade. Don’t be afraid to open your eyes and heart to a feeling that has no physical barriers. Don’t be afraid to love.