It’s been eight days since we received the election results, and it feels like half of the country is going through at least one of the five stages of grief. Tensions on social media are high. Protests are erupting across the country. Late night comedians are struggling to find the humor in current events. Families are fractured.
So when someone speaks up for peace, love, and unity, it’s only logical to ask, what’s love got to do with it? What’s love got do with sexism, racism, religious intolerance and homophobia? What’s love got to do with people who are actively fighting against my freedom or the freedom of others?
As a half-black, half-Jewish lesbian, I can honestly say from personal experience that love has everything to do with it. My entire life has been filled with uncomfortable experiences with ignorant people from all walks of life. My choice to greet ignorance with patience, understanding, and respectful conversation has consistently led to positive results.
Positive results does not mean that 100% of the people I have a conversation with are able to find common ground with me. But some of them do. Regardless of the outcome, I am consistently happy with how I chose to manage the uncomfortable experience. I am always grateful that I decided that hate cannot diminish the love I have for myself and others.
Choosing love has transformed my life and the lives of people around me. I’ve experienced firsthand accounts of people shifting towards tolerance, acceptance and forgiveness. I’ve even heard stories of people who’ve been inspired after hearing about how I treated someone else. Has my decision to choose love changed the world? Maybe not. But I’m grateful to have experienced the power of love in my corner of the world.