Lately I have noticed a reoccurring theme: choosing love over fear. From our nation’s political divide to simple acts of kindness, I have thought a lot about the power of love in everyday life.
Throughout this past winter I have done an immense amount of reflection; after a very intense 2016, I have taken many steps to “clean house” mentally, physically and spiritually. This season has been particularly different from winters in the past; I have viewed the world in a much different way, which has been an interesting challenge with our current political state and the uncertainty that comes with it.
It makes me nervous when I think about what the USA could become; polluted, hateful, segregated and greedy. While I feel a bit sheltered in the liberal, intellectual hub that is Boston (previously NYC and San Francisco), I am aware that much of this nation is fearful of people who are different than they are. The current administration seems to be doing everything in their power to create is a country of division, not diversity- which is not a country I personally would like to live in. As Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau so eloquently stated:
“We see diversity as a source of strength, not a weakness. Our country is strong not in spite of our differences, but because of them. Every single day, we need to choose hope over fear. Diversity over division. The nearly 7.5 people we collectively serve are better than the cynics and pessimists think they are. People want their problems solved, not exploited.”
Prime Minister Trudeau’s message rang true to me, giving me encouragement and hope for a more accepting, loving world. A wonderful example of people coming together was brought to my attention today when I read about a group who raised $60,000 (as of this morning) to help with the repairs of a vandalized cemetery in St. Louis; this act of kindness is exactly the type of effort that brings inspiration and hope to the world. The most encouraging part of this story?
The group raising the money were Muslim activists to help repair the Jewish cemetery.
From ABC News, “The fundraisers for the “Muslims Unite to Repair Jewish Cemetery” campaign said they launched the campaign in an effort to “send a united message from the Jewish and Muslim communities” and to condemn “hate, desecration, and violence.”
The campaign said the proceeds would go directly to the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery, and that any additional funds leftover after the cost of restoration would “assist other vandalized Jewish centers nationwide.”
It is absolutely beautiful to see that there is love all around us, no matter what our race or our religion. I believe in finding similarities in one another, not just the differences. I believe in helping people, not greed; I believe in quality, not quantity. I believe in holding out a helping hand, not living a life based on self-serving. The nation that I hope for is a nation of acceptance and love. When we all do better, we all do better; instead of placing blame or exploiting fear-mongering, I hope for a society who seeks a solution.
If you open your eyes to live a life of love over fear, it is amazing to see the miracles that begin to occur. While we may not be able to change the world, each small act of kindness will contribute to a more caring society. Let’s try to focus on solutions, love, and doing the best to be a little bit better each day.