It’s been a rough week around here, for a whole lot of reasons. The big one was the loss of Monte’s dad, who passed away after a long illness. Instead of flying to London for Nine Worlds GeekFest, we drove to a wake and a funeral and said goodbye to a man who played a huge role in Monte’s life.
Those events have put everything else into a certain kind of perspective, as you might imagine. They make me feel softer and kinder toward others, but they also make me fiercer — woe to anyone who wants to take away something that I hold dear right now.
In a recent post, Monte talks about finding something that you love, and I feel like that’s the sentiment that feels closest to my own at the moment. It’s easy to tear things down–a life, a game, an action, someone’s quote. (To be clear: I don’t mean constructive critique or thoughtful discussions here; I mean hate, vitriol, knee-jerk ire).
It’s so much harder to love things. Because, of course, you might lose them. Someone might come along and tell you that you aren’t supposed to love that thing because it’s dumb or sexist or ridiculous and that you in turn are dumb or sexist or ridiculous for liking that thing. It’s hard to love something, because sometimes when you love something, it feels like you’re not doing anything to create change. It’s hard to love something because someone might come along and take it away from you. And then that thing you loved so truly, so openly, is ripped from you and the world feels like it’s going to end.
It’s easier to hate, because hate is hard and safe and secure. It builds a wall between you and the world and no one can ever get through it. You are impenetrable, unreachable, safe in your castle of righteous anger. Hate makes you feel like you’re making a difference, like you’re making a change for the better.
But I believe that it’s love–not hate–that changes the world. It’s kindness and thoughtful criticism and having a sense of humor about the horrible, horrible things that happen to all of us that moves us forward. It’s taking the risk to love something–or someone–so deeply that you are vulnerable.
Please love something today. Do it loudly and with fervor and with grand gestures, if that feels right. Drown out the hate, even if just for a few moments. Be a positive force in world, if you can.
Here is where I say thank you for all the positive forces in my world. Here is where I say I love you, with all the softness and vulnerability that I have in me. Here is where I say I forgive you and I’m sorry you’re scared and I understand your need to hold onto hate like a blanket. Here is where I say it’s okay to claw at me if it helps you feel better.
Here is where I say: Keep your hate if you must, but remember that it traps you immobile and scared in the corner, lashing out and destroying the very things that matter to you. Here is a hand, reaching. Here is a way out.