Valentine’s Day or not, Nelson Mandela already resides in the hearts of people worldwide. As if there weren’t already enough reasons to appreciate this wise, selfless man, take a look at a letter he wrote in reply to a young person who asked him if he observes Valentine’s Day. Mandela’s reply, dated February 13, 1995 in the midst of his presidency, explains his lack of knowledge about the holiday due to his upbringing and his ‘tight programe does not allow’ him ‘to find time to celebrate Valentine’s day either today or in the future.’ He adds that only ‘in the past 5 years’ has he begun to receive V-Day cards (scandalous). Read the full transcript here.
Age and a conservative cultural background do not make it easy for me to discuss in public such intimate feelings or emotions. This is specially the case when the question is asked by one young enough to be a grandchild. It might well be that if one attempted a definition which departs from that which appears in the standard dictionaries, and bearing in mind the main forms of civilisation of the world, there may be as many definitions as there are human beings.