As the noise of the news continues to get louder, meaner, more violent, more confusing, more divisive, and more heartbreaking, I have found myself trying to look through it all and find the cracks.
Yes, the cracks. As the famous songwriter Leonard Cohen once said, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
At this moment in time, I’m choosing to widen my gaze beyond my traditional news outlets and seek out the good— the light, the love and the truth — that is shining through. Surprisingly, I don’t have to look far because I see so many great examples of light, love and integrity everywhere I look. (Yes, I do.)
I hear songs about love. I see corporate campaigns about unity. I see concerts about oneness and marches for tolerance and understanding. I see people who are doing their best to help their communities and be of service to humanity.
Right now, I find myself trying to turn away from the grown men and women who routinely hurl insults at one another on social media and TV. I find myself turning away from those in Washington D.C. who seem to delight in the “he said-she said,” while millions of our fellow citizens are struggling. They’re struggling in unsafe neighborhoods and schools. They’re struggling to survive paycheck to paycheck. And, they’re living in fear that they will lose their health care or other vital services, like Meals on Wheels.
Sure, I watched James Comey testify on Thursday (I wasn’t going to miss that). Yes, I followed the British election results with great interest on Friday. I still listen to the news. I’m a journalist and a citizen, and I want to be informed. I just don’t want to be taken down by what I’m witnessing play out in our politics and in our national dialogue.
Instead, I’m choosing to focus on the examples of love that I see because they reinforce my belief in humanity. They inspire me to work harder, do more and focus on hope.
Now, I know that the word love gets thrown around a lot. I, myself, have struggled with it in my life. But, nonetheless, it is still my favorite four letter word!
Thank God I know what it feels like to be loved. I work hard to spread love wherever I can because I know it’s the healing and unifying connection we are all seeking. And yet, it seems to evade us so easily.
Why is that?
Why do bullying, grandstanding and power-mongering take precedent over love? Why is exhibiting love harder than exhibiting meanness? Why do so few leaders talk of love? Why do so few leaders exhibit it on the world stage for us to witness? Is it because it’s viewed as weak or soft?
Love, as my friend Elizabeth Lesser once said, is a muscular concept. It takes strength to love and to receive. It takes strength to pursue it and to put it forth as a guiding value in your life.
I don’t know about you, but I’m so over the meanness, the negativity and the gaslighting. I don’t want leaders who threaten or intimidate. I don’t want leaders without any emotional intelligence. I don’t want leaders who are too scared to even talk of love, much less lead with love. I just don’t, and I’m not afraid to say it.
The good news is that the cracks give us glimpses of the leaders among us who are leading with love, and who have the guts to say so.
So, my fellow citizens, if you have love in your heart, step up. Step out. You are what the world needs now more than ever. Love is the most powerful weapon on the planet. Imagine if we all decided to lead with it.
As Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. … Do to us what you will, and we shall continue to love you.”
Imagine if we all spoke from that space. Imagine if we all interacted from that space. Imagine if we all approached one another with love, light and truth.
It’s within us. We just need to let it rise to the top and lead with it. We need our leaders to lead with it.
Love. It’s our best defense, and it’s the only way all this other noise will fade to the background.
(Originally Published at Mariashriver.com, click here for more)