I believe that one small act of chocolate kindness can make a ridiculously big difference in someone's day, so over my many years of professoring I've developed a ritual of bringing lots and lots of candy for my students on Valentine's Day.
Each year after I pass bowls of candies around my classes there is always a ton of candy left, so I've make it a habit and ritual to walk the halls of my building offering Valentine's Candy to students sprawled on the floor texting, students standing in the halls whispering, and other students generally milling around doing what students do in college hallways between classes.
And each year -- no matter what candy I offer -- students respond the same.
With widened eyes and serious frowns, they say "no."
All of them.
"No, no thank you, no candy, thanks."
I offer again, again and again.
And they always turn away a little and whisper again, again, and again, "No, really, no thanks..."
And as I walk away, I know what they're thinking, whispering and texting "FINALLY! A STRANGER just offered me CANDY!. I know I'm supposed to say NO to strangers offering candy, but no stranger has actually been kind enough to offer my candy, so finally I was tested and I passed the test!!! Yay! I passed the test!!"
So I take my bowl of candy back to my office, thankful to have played a small (and non-toxic) part in other people's holiday, and offer myself a small act of chocolate ....and laugh.
Happy Valentines Day*