February: The Month Of Love – An Interview

A few months ago, I interviewed a number of Geek Motivation’s writers about their most–and least–favorite horror movies, their favorite Halloween candy, and what their perceptions of October are.

Now, we’ve come to a new month: February. Over the past two to three weeks, I asked fellow GM members to share what they can about both having to love and being loved. This is what they had to say:

Warning: Spoiler alert for those who are planning on seeing any of these films!


1) What is love to you? That is, what does it mean to be loved?

  • “Love to me is to be with anyone, which isn’t necessarily romantic but [rather] a partnership that helps each other despite any flaws someone may have. You love someone when you just appreciate who they are and not because you just need them, but because without them life just would not be as easy. Love is something that really is blind because it is not exclusive to everyone, but not everyone finds it. Being loved feels warm and it is as if all the time in the world slows down for a moment and you recognize what someone does for you.” -Raymond Benitez-Toler
  • “For me, it means that–no matter how much you and someone fight and argue–in the end, that person is ready to help you in any way when you really need it.” -Miguel Coelho
  • “Love to me is when people respect and will do anything to help one another and support them to their fullest.” -Danielle Gonzalez
  • “Love, to me, is an unwavering connection and therefore unconditional admiration for someone or something. To love and be loved is embracing that connection and admiration.” -Mike Guimond
  • “Putting it simply, I think love is just the willingness to put someone before yourself.” -Gabe Kaspar
  • “To me, love is powerful and beautiful. I think to love and to be loved is as necessary as it is to breathe and eat. And I don’t just mean being loved and loving others but also loving yourself. To be loved is to be accepted and morally supported. How people express that acceptance and support varies from person to person.” -Alicia Leon
  • “Love is the feeling of having something or someone in your life that changes it for the better. Whether it be a certain comic book or a loved one, the feeling that they or that thing gives you makes you want to work harder to achieve a certain goal or objective in your life. That is life.” -Akhil Modali
  • “Defining ‘love’ is a struggle for me. It’s this type of emotion that at least one point in your life you had to feel, either by a mother or father, sibling, best friend, lover, etc. It’s a spiritual connection human beings share just because it feels right.” -Christian Quiles
  • “Love is a deep caring for someone. To be loved is to have people who deeply care for you.” -Neil Sharma
  • “Love, in my opinion, is the idea of never having to be alone. It is this intense feeling you have towards a family member, a friend, or a partner, and them to you. It’s that idea of having someone by your side when times get tough when a situation deems too difficult to handle on your own. It’s about someone having your back when you need help the most.” -John Tangalin


2) How alone have you ever been or felt?

  • “The most alone I’ve felt was when I was unfortunately away from my mother for a period of time and I was living with my sisters’ father who was not even my biological father, who I hated. I didn’t even know what to do or who I really wanted to be. Being alone at that time was difficult without the true love my mother has for me, but luckily that period in my life has passed.” -Raymond B.T.
  • “In the seventh grade to ninth grade, I was at a new school. All of my classmates didn’t bother me, but they didn’t care that much about me despite being nice to me and whenever my bully made fun of me every chance he had, they always thought he was just kidding around. There was only one person in the class I really considered a friend.” -Miguel
  • “I am eighteen [years old] and have never been in a relationship with anyone but I’ve never felt truly alone because the love that I have in my friends and family is all I need to feel complete.” -Danielle
  • “There are countless times [in which] I have felt alone, and there may always be times like that, depending on the situations we find ourselves in.” -Mike
  • “I felt alone in a period of my life where I was bullied.” -Gabe
  • “I have felt alone many times in my life whether because others misinterpret my intentions or they don’t express an understanding of certain challenges I have been through, but a lot of the times I realize there are things I can do to change that.” -Alicia
  • “I have always had my family and a great group of people at every stage of my life, so I am blessed to say that I have never felt lonely or ever been lonely.” -Akhil
  • “[I’ve felt] very alone. I remember back in high school how one day I felt like everyone liked me, [but] the next I felt forgotten. Self-esteem was a huge issue for me back then, but I’m thankful for all the things that happened.” -Christian
  • “I’ve had times where I felt completely alienated like Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye.” -Neil
  • “Every time I end a school year in high school or a semester in college, I think about the future ahead of me as well as what my purpose is. What it comes down it, I think it’s more of an existential train of thought, but lately, I’ve had trepidations about those closest to me eventually leaving one way or another. People say that life is like that, but it still hurts thinking about it, the idea that one day that person is present in your life, and the next, they’re gone and there’s nothing you can really do about it.” -John


3) What motivated you to keep on going, to persevere in your struggle?

  • “Something that has motivated [me] to keep going has always been my younger siblings because I would do anything just so they would not have to go through the disadvantaged lifestyle which I went through my entire life. I work hard for my career because I just want to help my family no matter how much they drive me crazy because ultimately I know they would still work just as hard for me.” -Raymond B.T.
  • “My friend as I said [before]. And the teachers were also really nice too.” -Miguel
  • “Sometimes I feel bad that I’ve never had a connection with someone romantically and it’s because of who I am and my personality, but then I remember how loved I am by people who really matter in my life, and that’s how I’ve learned not to dwell on having romantic relationships.” -Danielle
  • “What must be remembered is that there is always going to be someone or something you love that gives you hope, and sometimes that person even has to be yourself.” -Mike
  • “I can’t really pinpoint what motivated me through it all, but I do know that it gave me a valuable lesson in how to treat others as I want to be treated.” -Gabe
  • “What motivates me to keep going during times of struggle depends on the struggle. If it’s work or studies, I am motivated by my love for the craft. If it’s a personal issue with someone else, I am motivated by my love for them, myself, and our relationship.” -Alicia
  • “I did not experience being alone, but during heartbreak or disappointment, I always look to those who have always been there for support. People like my mom and dad are great at picking me up when I need it. I am also someone who has always viewed the glass as half full instead of half empty.” -Akhil
  • “My girlfriend helped me a lot during my high school years. Thanks to her, I’ve learned how being alone sometimes is good for me. I enjoy going to the movies by myself or any type of activity and meet new people.” -Christian
  • “My mom, friends, [and] those who suffer [are the reason why I keep moving forward].” -Neil
  • “I’ve had family and friends who would help keep me on my feet, but ever since I stepped foot in college, I had to focus on making myself happy. It’s all the more challenging when I see that other people aren’t happy, so I try to help them when I can. Writing as a hobby is really cathartic. When I watch a film or television show, something inspires to pen a great story, which in turn acts as a form of psychotherapy. Knowing that the people I love are still here comforts me. I can’t imagine life without them because that makes it even more stressful to think about.” -John

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4) How can we love others?

  • “We can love others by acknowledging our differences [and] by also recognizing that the similarities outweigh the number of differences we have. We can love others through the empathy we have built in us since birth. Ultimately, we cannot stray away from the empathetic nature we inherently have as humans.” -Raymond B.T.
  • “By helping them when they really need it [and] be there for the bad and good times.” -Miguel
  • “We can love others by stop having the [idea] of helping ourselves be the best we can be and [instead] start having the [idea] of helping everyone be the best they can be. In America, a lot of people focus on themselves, and I think that is why there is a lot of hate because being human is helping others and in doing that, you begin to love and help others learn to love because they know they are not alone and so do you.” -Danielle
  • “We can love others by keeping this attitude, [that feeling that a person or an object that you love is the driving force that helps you move forward].” -Mike
  • “I think a good start to loving others is to just approach everyone with a clear [and open] mind. A lot of people out there will just judge others and label them without really knowing their true personalities. You don’t have to know everything about a person to show love towards him/her. Just don’t approach people or situations with negativity.” -Gabe
  • “There are many ways we can love others. I think the difficulty lies in figuring out which expressions of love are healthy compared to which ones may be more damaging, but I think when someone truly does something out of love, the intention is always a positive one, and I think that’s beautiful.” -Alicia
  • “[It’s] easy. Just accept others for who they are and learn to appreciate all that they bring to the table. Whether in a relationship with a significant other or in a friendship, the best way to show them you love them is just to be there for them. Most of the time, that’s all we need as humans.” -Akhil
  • “The most basic method of loving is one we fail to realize often: Understanding each other. Knowing that no one is the same as you and actually listening to each other’s point of views is the best path to loving each other. Even the simplest details [can] make anyone’s day.” -Christian
  • “By caring for them with empathy, sympathy, second chances, not being hypocritical and helping when we can.” -Neil
  • “I am always there when they need somebody to talk to. I may not always have the answers, but I try to guide them to where they want to be to the best of my ability.” -John


5) What movie scene made you tear up? It could be that of Disney, Pixar, or something else.

  • “A movie scene that made me cry was when Bing Bong died in Inside Out.” -Raymond B.T.
  • “That scene in Inside Out where Riley came back home after she tried to run away and cried to her parents saying how much she misses her old home and her friends. It was at that moment that Riley realised she needed to grow up, which really hits me because I had to deal with that and I’m still dealing with it, and sometimes it’s hard letting go of your childhood. But she also realized that she was happy because she had her family with her through thick and thin. And that’s the importance of Sadness. You need to be sad to realize what you need to be happy.” -Miguel
  • My Girl is the only film that has ever made me cry because I’m usually pretty heartless but even though the movie has no storyline. that scene–I won’t spoil, but people who have seen know what I’m talking about–is so sad!” -Danielle
  • “A movie scene that made me tear up was when Andy gave his toys away in Toy Story 3. There was such a bond built [within the three Toy Story films] to the point where the toys–even though they didn’t come to life around him–were like family. They did so much in honor of Andy. After so much time spent with these characters, it was sad to see them part ways.” -Mike
  • “I got choked up a little bit while watching the end of War for the Planet of the Apes. It was a lot to follow Caesar’s journey from the beginning to his end. All he wanted was for the killing to stop, but in order to do that, he had to kill more. His internal conflict throughout the movie made me feel for him more than the other movies. I was so sad to see him go.” -Gabe
  • “[In Coco], when Coco’s father tells the origins of the song ‘Remember Me,’ I cried like a baby. Thinking about how he never got to see her again, how she remembered and loved him after all those years, how they were connected through that song. That scene hit me hard.” -Alicia
  • “In [James Mangold’s] Logan, when Logan is being buried and Laura turns the cross that is at the head of his grave into an ‘X’ for the X-men. Damn, just typing this response is making me tear up.” -Akhil
  • “I’m not much of a tear jerker but the last scene in The Pursuit of Happyness–when Will Smith’s character finally gets the job and he’s crying and leaves the office and claps [amongst] the walking people–makes me bawl my eyes out.” -Christian
  • Up, the entire movie.” -Neil
  • “Almost every Disney and Pixar film has evoked some poignant feeling out of me, but one of the first movies from my childhood would have to be 2001’s Monsters Inc. As I’ve mentioned before, one of my biggest fears is having to lose someone somehow. It’s safe to say that you’ll meet that person again sooner or later, but you just have to be patient. The ending of this film emphasizes on that idea, and it is one of the first that really made me tear up.” -John
  • “An honorable mention is the ending scene from Disney’s Meet the Robinsons. My 9-year-old self cried so hard.” -Also John

6) How do you perceive February?

  • “I never really have seen February in a particular [way], but I guess I have mostly associated it with the concept of love.” -Raymond B.T.
  • “Lately, [I perceive February] as the month where awesome comic book movies come out (Kingsman, Deadpool, and now Black Panther). [I also associate the month with] the carnival which we celebrate in Portugal around this month.” -Miguel
  • “I perceive February as a month where love can be strong. Aside from Valentine’s Day, we are already a full month into the newest year. We only get eleven more of those, and who knows how many years. Any moment we are not loving is a moment we are wasting.” -Mike
  • “I’ll always see February as that weird month with 28 days.” -Gabe
  • “February is one of my favorite months! My birthday is just a few days before Valentine’s day! When I think of February, I think of my favorite candy (chocolate) and my favorite color (pink).” -Alicia
  • “February is the month when you should look at all the ones you love and that have been there, and thank them for it.” -Akhil
  • “[February is] a great short month; my BFF’s birthday is in this month, Black History and the themes of love [and] caring are nice. I dislike Valentine’s Day; the idea is good but it has gone off track and is more about buying stuff like [Christmas].” -Neil
  • “It’s the month where you somewhat adjusted to the new year. It’s the end of one chapter in your life and the start of something new. After leaving high school during my Senior Year, that’s what I’ve begun to see February as.” -John

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7) What can we learn about love that can be applied to yourself, your fellow members, and our followers? Or rather, what is it that we have learned so far that we could teach each other?

  • “We can learn that love is not the same for everyone, and we cannot look at people and judge the love they have because despite it seeming ‘annoying’ or ‘gross,’ love is something truly beautiful. It doesn’t harm anyone, and if it does, we can question if it really is love in the first place.” -Raymond B.T.
  • “We can learn that love isn’t just something you share with your family and or significant other. We at Geek Motivation like to give positive energy to people we don’t know but know that they’re into geeky stuff and positive messages of hope and determination, feelings we try to share with our followers, who inspire us to keep going as well. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.” -Miguel
  • “I think people need to realize that love is an important part of being human because it gives us a purpose. It makes us want to help others and to accept others in our lives, but love doesn’t have to be romantic. You don’t need a boyfriend or girlfriend to love you in order to feel whole. You can find love in a family member, a friend, or even a dog. As long as you have some form of real love in your life–and not something you fake as love because you want it so badly–you can be happy and feel important.” -Danielle
  • “Keeping the attitude to love others, and to love overall in the time we have in this life is something we can forget; even I do sometimes. Holding that in our hearts helps us evolve when it comes to loving, and as long as anyone of us acts in those ways to others, we can grow together.” -Mike
  • “Like I said, we need more optimism in the way we treat others. We’re living in a modern society where everyone is mad at everyone. It’s not easy to love everyone, especially our enemies, but we should at least give it our best shot. Somebody has to set a proper example before we can begin a more peaceful future. We need to use our love to show others a better path in society, culture, and overall life.” -Gabe
  • “What I have learned during my time in Geek Motivation is how loving the geek community can be. As I mentioned earlier, acceptance and moral support are a big part of love, and this community definitely has that. It radiates positivity and I only hope that our followers can see that, and I am sure they do. What they might not see is how supportive everyone is of one another. When someone is feeling down or going through hard times, my fellow members (though they may be in different countries) will undoubtedly be there for each other.” -Alicia
  • “In order to love, we must appreciate everyone from everywhere. Geeks from all backgrounds and walks of life must stick together to push our culture forward and spread nothing but peace and positive within our space.” -Akhil
  • “One of my favorite rappers, Logic, said it best: ‘Peace, love, and positivity.’ Forget about the non-important things that won’t matter in five years, and [instead] live a peaceful life.” -Christian
  • “We learn that love can be shown by just caring for others. You don’t need romantic love to live; romantic love is popular but not the end all be all. Love is different for everyone. We have learned that [the aspects] of love are not what everyone thinks it is. It is what it is for that specific person. It is what we expect it to be, so once we get it, it is different from the love we expect.” -Neil


February is a month of love and–for this year–Black Panther. It is also Black History Month. You never have to feel like you don’t belong because there are others out there that you can talk to.

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Written by: John Tangalin