Ever see/hear something that takes what you have been thinking and feeling and makes it crystal clear…? For the last several months, I have had a real issue with the way people, the press, politicians, friends, talk shows and even the comedy shows have been addressing the issues of today. It’s not good, the rancor, the negativity, the personal attacks, the hate disguised as opinion… Time and time again, I read a post on social media, hear something said between friends, watch a program on TV and the pit of my stomach just churns…
So Saturday night, the kids and Kelly head off to bed and I pull up YouTube on the TV app, and there is a SXSW keynote… As you may or may not know, I have been in the music business since 1989 and have spent a total of one day at SXSW. It’s crazy and crowded, but supposed to be awesome, traffic is terrible… Anyway I digress… The last several years I will pull up some of the speeches and keynotes and watch em when I can… Cory Booker, a New Jersey Senator speaking at SXSW Interactive? I wonder what that’s about…?
He took the first 20 minutes and wanted to address something that was important to him… He wanted to talk about “the most powerful force in the universe” – LOVE!
He said as Americans, “We are all here today as a physical manifestation of a larger conspiracy of love.”
What an awesome and beautiful way to look at America. He talked about the spirit of our founding documents… Our Declaration of Independence… How the finale, the last thought, the last words, how the document finishes is actually a declaration of Interdependence! This NEVER caught my attention before… The last line is amazing…
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
To support our independence as a country, we must pledge to EACH OTHER! Is that what we are doing right now? Is that how we treat people who think differently than we do, who look differently that we do, who got to America differently than we did, who VOTE differently than we do…?
Then he brings the sledge hammer, the thing that’s been itching me under my skin for quite a while, but I didn’t know how to put it into words… Here’s what he said…
Tolerance is problematic… The goal should be a nation of love… Patriotism mandates a LOVE of one another…
Tolerance builds fences between people, LOVE rips them down.
Tolerance crosses the street when someone else is coming, and LOVE confronts and embraces.
Tolerance says I don’t need you, LOVE says you are essential to my well-being!
Tolerance says I don’t have to care about what happens to your child, LOVE understands that if your kid has health care, education and thrives and becomes an artist or doctor or entrepreneur or an inventor that I am so much better off, therefore I am invested in who you are and whats happening in your life!
Tolerance isn’t good enough, tolerance isn’t what this country was founded on!
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness
All… We are ALL! We are equal! No one is better than the other. You might have different ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and you have the right to express them. But shouldn’t that be done “in love”? Not in hate, not trying to tear another person down…?
Cory then changed gears and talked about his greatest mentor, the biggest influence on his life, his last days, how he had gone blind and the last words he ever said to him…
I see you, I love you.
Do we truly SEE our fellow man, our neighbors, the people we disagree with? Do we? Do we love them, or do we tolerate them? Do we engage in conversation to learn, or do we just throw stones on social media? Do we strive for empathy & understanding, or do we just give lip service and talk about them behind their back?
How do you treat “other people”? Do you have compassion for “other people”? Do you truly believe in “Liberty and Justice for All”?
“You shall love your neighbor as yourself” – Matthew 22:39
It ALL comes down to love. Not the “I love tacos” love, but a deep understanding of the kind of love that happens when you take the time and realize we are all one people. When you invest in people who think differently than you do. When you show compassion with your words AND actions.
We are Americans. What we need is love to get us through this moment in time.
PLEASE take the time and watch the first 20 minutes… I can’t do it justice, it is amazing and inspiring… And if this man runs for a national office, I might just vote for him.