The flowers and the candles will protect us.

You have probably seen this before, but watch it again, through the eyes of today, and then we’ll talk about it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkM-SDNoI_8

Do you know why he’s right? Why this father is in no way lying to his child to protect him?

Because the flowers and the candles are love and community materialized, and if he wants his son to be safe, if we want all of our children to be safe, love and community are the only things that can ever do that. Fear and hate will try to convince you that they are the ones for the job, but in addition to making you feel awful, they’re also not useful.

Granted, fear might be handy in getting you to jump out of the way of a speeding car or such, but hate is just utterly useless, and neither will do you any good at all in analyzing the more complex parts of the world around you, which is what is needed to truly protect you. Your intellect will always do a much better job at that.

Importantly, choosing love and understanding over fear and hate does not mean to abstain from opposing threats to your existence, it means to oppose those threats without fear and hate, and thereby having a much greater chance of succeeding, as you are fighting more level headed. And also, if you fight in hate, you leave a trail of hate behind, this time directed at you, and then you never won at all, you were only buying time.

February 14th is a day of love in many parts of the world, and while it might feel mediocre to buy flowers, send cards, and have candle light dinners when the world seems to be on fire, it’s not. Love is not mediocre, and hence acts of love, whatever shape or form they might take, are not either. Actually, we need to love and take care of each other now more than ever, because to choose love, and fight for love, in the times we are facing, takes brave and strong souls, and it’s exhausting.

Fill up. Refuel. Love and be loved, and then keep on not hating, not fearing, and thereby keeping us safe.

We have the flowers and the candles, and we have each other.

To love, and to build

I had no idea. I thought there were important, proper adults who had this down. I thought we were doing ok. Things were getting better, for most people, and even though environmental news was alarming, and there were horrific conflicts ongoing, and heartbreaking conditions for refugees in many parts of the world, there also seemed to be steps taken to address those emergencies, and others. I figured I could just worry about my own little life, and the world would take care of itself. Many of us thought so.

Well… We were wrong. Apparently, we are not going in the direction we thought, and there is no reliable driver getting us home safely. So whether we like it or not, we have to get off the beaten track, the one were our lives were about us, and us alone. Sadly, getting off the familiar road, when there is no other visible way to go, sucks. It is scary, unscripted, and lonely. But still, we have to. We entered an era were we can’t afford to be on the sidelines anymore. We have to get out of our comfort zones, reach higher and further, and build whatever future we want to see.

To get over the abyss that seems to have opened underneath us, we will have to start by building bridges. They need to be long enough to reach the bridges and roads of all the other people out there trying to do the same, and it will take a lot of work. But there are millions and millions of builders, and I know that eventually we will have enough bridges to form a network; a beautiful, global web of hope and support. These bridges and roads will lead anyone who wants to work for a bright future upwards, and onwards, and through connecting us, they will provide a framework that can withstand whatever fear or divisive rhetoric tries to throw at us, and help us remember that we are all in this together.

So how do we create these amazing bridges? How do we soar? It’s so hard, and so easy. We just love.

We love fiercely, uncompromisingly, in big ways and small. We love those who agree with us, and we learn to love those who don’t. We love for the common humanity in us all, and we love our shared home. We love by always saying no to hate, to greed, to division and to fear, and we love by acting for what we believe in. We love, we connect, and we stand together.

So much of what we hear every day tells us to creep back into our shell, that there is no hope, no use even trying, that we are small and insignificant. We need to tell each other another story, the true story, which is that the future is not written yet, and that history has proven again and again that “small and insignificant” people can indeed change the destiny of millions by fighting for their beliefs. Some people know this truth on their own, but many of us need brave communities around us to support and inspire us, to counteract the constant narrative of fear, telling us that there is nothing we can do, when actually, there is nothing we can not do.

This is such a community, and we would love to have you be a part of us.

Community

We are currently expanding our group aiming to allow members to easily and safely reach out to each other, and form supportive networks. Through subscribing to our blog, you will receive updates on this work, and be a part of our group as it is taking shape. If you are interested in contributing texts or other volunteer efforts, head over to the contact page and let us know!