Live and Let Live, A Short Love Story on Valentine’s Day

Reading Shelly Cook‘s article in the Winnipeg Free Press today reminded me about Randy Pausch‘s The Last Lecture. Pausch was facing his imminent death, and delivered a message filled with optimism and  hope – with a focus on living life.

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love. With all the divisiveness and conflict in the world, I think we can all use a little love right now.

I am currently in Puerto Vallarta with my husband. It is a long-planned get away in which we are able to relax, explore, and connect – with each other and with friends who are likewise in this area of the world. We are also able to do some remote work while we are here – a gift of our collective COVID experience.

Our condo is located in ‘the romantic zone’ in PV. “Zona Romántica is a trendy area filled with lively expat and LGBTQ bars, plus restaurants serving global fare. Quaint courtyard cafes and contemporary art galleries sit alongside boutique hotels on cobblestone streets.” It’s a pretty cool place.

And, it is filled with love, mostly from the LGBTQ community. I am sure this community is like any other, and has all sorts of humans who are part of it. What I have witnessed, however, in this short period of time that we are here, is a group of people (mostly men) who are joyful, fun-loving, and very affectionate. On several occasions, even chilling in the pool, I have enjoyed listening to spirited conversations filled with laughter. I find myself compelled to jump in and join them!

What’s even more cool is that I think most of them would be more than happy to include me. I ‘see’ inclusion in their eyes. Perhaps people who have experienced not being included are more aware of the importance of it!

I have also noticed nothing but kindness. Even toward this clearly hetero couple. One evening we attended a Drag Show with friends at ACT2PV. As we enjoyed our cocktails awaiting the start, four very large men took the seats directly in front of us. ‘Oh my’, said one of them, ‘I hope we aren’t going to block your view!’. After I said something like ‘no worries, all good’… one of them said ‘Well if we do, you know you can just come and sit on my knee.’ After which all four of them lol’d, as did we. Just playful fun!

Beyond that occasion, there have been several times when I have observed a real ‘joie d vivre’ in this community. Now, one might argue… Hello? It is warm and beautiful and vacation, who wouldn’t be joyful? True enough. But I think there is something more. I think there is a real ‘acceptance’ in this community – of everyone – even a spiky-haired Manitoba girl, who just wants to hang out with nice, positive people, filled with love. Ya know what I mean?

Maybe a lesson that we all need right now is one of acceptance. Of each other. Of our differences. Of ourselves. Randy Pausch accepted his fate in 2007, and delivered a message that still resonates today. It reminds me of something my mom said a lot when we were growing up, ‘live and let live’.

Let’s do that.

Deri Latimer is an expert in positive possibilities for people! A TEDx Speaker, Author, and Organizational consultant, Deri works with organizations who want to create happy and healthy workplaces for increased positivity, productivity and prosperity!