Valentine’s Day is generally represented with the symbol of a red heart. Is it anatomically correct? Not by a long shot! The body’s heart is a muscle that weights approximately 10 ounces and performs a very important function for our body, which is to keep us living. It is an organ whose function is to move blood throughout our body. The blood cells supply the body with nutrients and oxygen and in turn, on the return trip, it removes waste and carbon dioxide. Therefore, the major function of the heart is to keep us alive. So, how did this hard-working organ become associated with the strong emotion of love and the red heart symbol? One of the major thoughts that the heart dealt with love was from the Greeks. Remember, during school, we learned about Greek mythology and the great Greek philosophers – they had explanations for many occurrences in life which were not always true, but it made sense to them. Many philosophical theories believed that the heart had very strong emotions. One of those emotions was love. Many thought it was the overall process that governed our lives and governed the brain. In Roman mythology, Venus was the goddess of love, and she was known to set hearts aflame with the help of her son, Cupid. One ancient Roman tradition that is still practiced today is the belief of the vena amoris (vein of love). There is a major vein that starts at the heart and runs down to the fourth finger on the left hand, and it was a symbol of true love. The tradition is still used today, during the wedding ceremony, when the bride and groom exchange rings and place them on the fourth finger of the left hand to show true devotion to one another, even though this belief is factually inaccurate, as all the fingers in the hand have a similar vein structure. So, truth be told, it was not the greeting card companies who first introduced us to the symbol of the red hearts. There is much thought and conjecture on when the symbols were first used, but that question is lost in the fog of history. However, the emotions still exist. I overheard my grandson and his friend discussing the girls they liked, and I had to smile. In the past, feelings of love were expressed in letters, then greeting cards cornered the market. But, nowadays, one can express themselves with texting and using the various emojis. It makes me wonder how people will express themselves in the future. No matter, love is an emotion that never seems to go out of style. And no matter how old you are, I bet you still remember your first love and your first kiss. Those are memories we carry with us throughout our lives. So, is mankind in love with love? Yes, it seems to be true. This Valentine’s Day take time and remember how the first blush of love feels. Then, enjoy the day – the holiday for love.
SharLeigh has an inquisitive nature – she is interested in current events, history, science and many more subjects, including things that go bump in the night! Since 1997, SharLeigh has scoured the internet, looking for interesting, fun and timely topics covering all sorts of human-interest subjects for her articles from her home in Fontana, CA.