Over the years, the I Am UU project has tried to push several new holidays as being very much in-line with Unitarian Universalism as we see it. Along with Loving Day and Labor Day, I want us to consider Esther Day. Have you heard of Esther day, yet? It’s tomorrow, August 3rd. Let me tell you why…
The brothers John and Hank Green have a YouTube channel “Vlogbrothers” (among others), and a mission to “Decrease World Suck“. A passionate and involved community has grown up around their work over the last 14 years. The members of that community are known as Nerdfighters, and Thomas is a Nerdfighter.
Esther Earl was also a Nerdfighter, and a YouTuber who became friends with Hank and, especially, John. She was a teenager, and she was fighting cancer. It was a battle she lost in 2010 at the age of 16. John promised her that he and Hank would remember her Birthday, August 3rd, and they would celebrate it for as long as they were making Vlogbrothers videos. She asked him to make it a day when they told people “I love you.” Not romantic partners, but all the people they loved, especially those who don’t hear it enough or those where it is awkward to tell them.
It has been described by John as “Valentine’s Day for all the other kinds of love.”
“Esther Day is the day where we think ‘who do I love who I have trouble saying I love you to.’
Not some romantic interest, that’s just using Esther Day as an excuse to tell someone you love them, that you already want to tell them… no.
I mean family, or platonic friends, which for me is even harder than family.”
– John Green
Given that there is no other major holiday in August, there is plenty of room for this beautiful celebration of forms of love that we neglect too often. Reach out tomorrow to a special friend or three and tell them that they are loved. I, for one, can’t think of a single time when the world was made worse because someone was told, honestly, that they were loved.