Diamond commercials and Hallmark ads glitter in the eyes of heartsick romantics. Neglected hearts feel sick at first sight of them. Loneliness drags the season to a crawl, so they begin praying for a freak storm to blow the flower stands and pink card displays off the face of the earth. Bitter calls plague the surgeon general’s office, demanding a ban on heart-shaped boxes for cholesterol-rich snacks. What advertisement could be more false than suggesting a chocolate-filled heart benefits the recipient enough to warrant a bow?

On a day when a rash of crimson plagues the nation and chalky candies determine popularity, some chests ache. Valentine’s Day amplifies a hollow life. When you know sweet words will never fill your mailbox, the front walkway grows longer. Everyone needs a love letter, whether it comes in an envelope or not.

Our human need for intimacy affects the quality of life year-round. Love improves physical, emotional, and mental health. Infants require affectionate touch for proper cognitive, social, and medical development. The fundamental need continues as long as we live. We’re designed to connect with people.

Since all of us need a love letter, don’t let your heart collect dust waiting by the mailbox. Intimacy doesn’t hit us on the front lawn like a meteor shower, and it isn’t restricted to romance. The most effective way to live a love-filled life is to pour your love out on lonely souls. We’ll only experience real love by sharing it. Reaching out dissolves loneliness.

If you’re a Valentine’s Day grouch, try to imagine someone who needs a kind word more than you do. Check out local veteran’s groups, assisted living facilities, or children’s homes. Let someone know they’re worthy of your time and attention. Continue your visits throughout the year. Chances are, you’ll feel more blessed than you ever thought possible. You might not have time to pester the surgeon general this February, but you’ll be enjoying the most wonderful love letter you ever received.