HeartLove may not be all we need, John Lennon notwithstanding, but it’s a start. My own spouse is overseas on business today, but as this is the 24th Valentine’s Day we’ve spent together, we both know that our love transcends a single day. Love, in fact, transcends a whole lot.

Love makes families even when the law does not. Love means that for every wall (real or metaphorical), there will be a bridge. Love brings together when other forces seek to tear apart.

Love can hurt, too, to be sure—but it’s like that old joke about why duct tape is like the Force: It has a dark side and a light side, and it binds the universe together. Does that mean love is like duct tape? A necessity, often useful, occasionally tangled? I’ll let you decide if I’ve run too far with the analogy.

Love is in our children’s eyes and in ours when we look at them, even when they are mad at us for asking them to clean their rooms and we are mad at them for shrieking or scowling in response. Love is checking on them when they are sleeping and don’t even know we’re there, even when they’re old enough that we don’t need to anymore.

Love is taking steps to live as who we really are—and paying that forward by helping others be who they truly are as well.

No, love alone cannot change the world, but it can lay a foundation. It creates a common experience and point of connection. Who and what do you love? Why? Here’s who and what I love, and why. They may not be the same things, but perhaps if we try to understand how love moves each of us, we can better understand each other.

Wishing love to you and your families, and to a world that sorely needs it, today and every day.