What’s Love Got to Do with It?


The scene: 1985 in Virginia Beach, Va.
The occasion: Summer vacation.
The Personnel: the usual suspects, Dad, stepmom, me, dog.
The Package: Private Dancer tape by Tina Turner
The Technology: Boom Box. (It never boomed, kmart special, I suppose)

I distinctly remember sitting in my beach chair with my boom box on my lap listening to the sounds of one Tina Turner wax philosophic about love and what it may or may not have to do with it, whatever ‘it’ was, in my teenage mind. My father had given me the tape. I preferred Motley Crue. Dad was right. Tina had something musically important to say.

I am writing this blog article on Tuesday, February 14, 2023 a.k.a.Valentine’s Day. A quick study of this holiday shows that it is equal parts historical and capitalism made good by a certain company that ‘hallmarks’ our lives. The historical part is that it originated as a Chrisian feast day honoring one or two early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine. Today marks the 1,528th celebration of this holiday. Nowadays, it has become a very significant celebration of romance and love in many regions of the world, particularly high schools where guys wear obnoxious amounts of Axe spray hoping to land a date with a potential valentine-to-be. 145 million cards are purchased a year for this holiday. See the aforementioned Hallmark. When I first celebrated this day, a Hallmark card was priced about $2.25. Now, they cost upwards of $7-$8. Hallmark is doing very well. Very well, indeed.

Anyway, you will read this tomorrow which is Wednesday, February 15, 2023. Many of you will be still in the throes of love and some may be experiencing a love hangover and still others will be unaffected by this massive monstrosity of a holiday. Either way, love does, in fact, have something to do with it.

Tina asked that question through her famous hit of the same name. And, believe it or not, love has everything to do with being a PRS. Why do you do what you do as a PRS? To help people? To make a difference in the world? Both are noble causes. A famous definition of love says, “the opposite of love is indifference, not hate”. You see, indifference means, “that you have no emotion, no life, no love, no interest in something which another may base their life on by ‘loving’ it.” And peer support is the exact opposite of indifference.

In peer support, we show emotion and we allow emotions to be shown and fully expressed just as they are without judgment or condescension. In peer support, we live a vibrant life that is always moving to and fro towards maximum health and wellness. In peer support, we have a life. A big life. Bigger than it ever was before we found recovery and bigger than it ever was before we found our way into this profession. In peer support, the very nature of mutual support is the ultimate expression of interest in someone or something.

So, when you read this blog, be reminded that you are fighting the good fight with love, concern, care, compassion, empathy, sympathy, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and patience. In other words, you are working as a peer recovery specialist because you love those who need it most through your words and actions: peers. And that, my friend, is what love has to do with it.

Go on Tina. You were right.

Chris Newcomb

Chris Newcomb

VPRSN Coordinator

Chris Newcomb, M.Div., PRS, CPMS, CWF, CSSF is the VPRSN Coordinator on behalf of Mental Health America of Virginia. He holds a Bachelor in Psychology from Radford University and a Master of Divinity from Duke University. In his spare time, he is a singer/songwriter who loves to write new songs, practices Krav Maga, and enjoys time with family and friends.


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