Though we’ve finally gotten a little taste of winter, spring is just around the corner. And Alfred, Lord Tennyson told us that “in the spring, a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love.” When we think of what might be meant by that vision of love or what’s typical of Valentine’s stories, it often involves trying to do things in order to get someone to love us back.

True love, though, is deeper. One great definition of love says that it is about ‘acting in the best interest of someone else.’ There’s not a selfish ambition behind our gestures when love is in effect, but the genuine desire that others’ existence is better.

So while the word love doesn’t appear in Thinking Forward’s mission statement or descriptions of our programming, that idea of choosing to put others first and think beyond ourselves most certainly is the desire of our outcomes. As students are encouraged to put an end to bullying, to value others and work collaboratively with them, and to create positive change in their community, the best interests of others are elevated. That may not fit our typical Hollywood definition of ‘love’, but it sure does a lot to bring about love in our community – a kind that will have an impact more long-lasting than any card, bouquet of flowers or box of chocolates than will have been given as a gift over the weekend.

You can be part of this difference-making work. Please consider how your donation or volunteering can add to the work Thinking Forward is doing, and click on the respective tab at the top of the page.