I’ve been silent for a fortnight.
I feel as though I’ve lost the words, which is new for someone who never seems to cease talking. However, in this silence, the message that keeps resurfacing is one of love.
Deep, abiding, unconditional, nurturing, unflinching, empathetic, raw, real love, the kind that has not been spoken, felt, or heard in so very long, for so very many.
I have been trying to rationalize how so many people have willingly chosen to go against one another, or to brazenly show their disdain for their fellow man and woman. Where we are in our country, and in the world, right now, is on a battlefield. We turn the news on, and it shows us the fires of hatred fanned, the heat of fear stoked. Our words and actions are bullets, and the casualties are future moments of broken brotherhood. These moments make headlines, not those of love.
Why aren’t we fighting harder to cherish each other for our similarities AND differences?
Why aren’t we seizing every opportunity to show others affection, especially those who feel a sense of estrangement or uncertainty?
Why is it so hard to love our neighbors?
Happiness is in your ability to love others.-Leo Tolstoy-
I grew up reading stories of couples, families, and individuals who overcame adversity, or prejudiced beliefs, and unified together in an unbreakable bond. Society, kin, even friends, counseled against their decision, but their strength of conviction was what carried them through. There were those who supported them, though, championing their love, and built up their castles in the air.
I hoped, wished, prayed that this was the world we still lived in. As I grew and read more, I began to see that, in reality, and for many, this was not a fairytale ending.
From the earliest age, I was brought up to show kindness towards others, no matter their circumstances, and that’s how I’ve tried to live, in a way that shows and gives love to my family, friends, colleagues, and students. I want them to know that my life has greater value because they are in it. I think that’s part of why I have such clear memories, because I know their worth.
Now is the time for humanity to make amends. To open our arms, hearts, and minds to one another and draw closer, not farther apart.
Love is a choice and a gift. One must not love blindly, but in spite of sight, embracing flaws and celebrating differences.
The good news is that we are, even if it is in the smallest of ways. It is there, if we only look for it, to act upon it.
It’s in those who are choosing to perform random acts of kindness for total strangers, without thought of a return. They are mowing lawns, delivering groceries, pet sitting.
It’s in those organizing relief aid to those in need, giving of their own resources, time, and abilities. It’s businesses donating, celebrities using their influence on social media to lend their voices to a cause. All things we could have been doing, (and, in some cases, were already), but are now, and with greater fervor.
It’s in those who have taken up their pens to narrate accounts of those who cannot speak for themselves, or are silenced by larger forces suppressing them. Writers are exposing the truth and embracing change.
A sense of solidarity is growing as we sow the seeds of love. It’s all around us, and this time, we need to work harder towards it.
I firmly believe that the most important work of love we do is within our four walls, and in our own spheres of influence. We have the power to make change, to erase negativity, and to plant new ideas in the minds and hearts of our loved ones. We have to be willing to talk about the sensitive topics, to allow questions, and to find answers, together.
One of my resolutions is to live a life to that is worthy of emulating. It’s first tenet is how to love others well. One day, if and when my children are asked who influenced them, I hope that they point towards me and my spouse as examples. What greater testament of love is there than that??
So, as the sea of despair threatens to engulf us, the blaring trumpet of discontent assails our ears, it is our opportunity to still our hearts, silence the racket, and focus on love.
How do you love?
Do you love often, and well?
-Kindred Spirit- 6.18.20