I’ve often tried to hold the sea, the sun, the fields, the tide.

I tell you, love is just a kiss away.

Do you think love could change the world?

What would that look like?

You there, claiming an identity rooted in beliefs that you’ll never change — if the person who hurt you the most approached you with remorse tomorrow: Would you feel relief? Would a burden be removed? Could you feel free? Could you change the way you love? Could you let yourself be loved?

The reason the world doesn’t work this way is that somewhere along the line everyone agreed to only worry about themselves, their priorities, they would handle their “own business” and everyone else should do the same. No second chances. We all die alone. The thread of commonality that ran throughout humanity, the very essence of being alive, got snuffed out for the sake of individual progress.

We became islands. We curated our own worlds to keep the “good” ones in and the “bad” ones out. Now, we compete.

At some point, we began putting the value of our life over the value of everyone else’s. Then we started ranking everyone else’s.

We used to identify each other with the things we loved. Now we gravitate to those who fear as we do. We identify each other with disease and we wallow in our despair. Then we just others who suffer, too, because they do it differently.

Somewhere along the line, asking for help meant weakness. Being poor meant you were lazy. Being non-white meant you were inferior. Being born outside of a free country meant you were trying to take whatever freedom there was. Making a mistake showed you didn’t know anything and probably never had. Disagreeing with someone meant you were wrong.

Somewhere along the line, being right became the only thing that mattered.

Being right mattered more than love.

Being right mattered more than peace.

Being right mattered more than lives.

I’ll let you know, it doesn’t matter much to me.

I’m willing to be wrong.

And I know loving people, even if I disagree with them, can change the world.

Even if they are wrong.

Even if they are right.

I believe all the holiness that I was born with, you were born with, too.

That holiness is a thread that will bind us greater than any fear if only we could honor it.

After all, the value of a life belonging to the person I love the least is still equal in value to mine. It is equal to yours, too. I don’t get to decide that.

It. Just. Is.

Does that make you cringe?

*title from “All Over You” by Live

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