Review, Reflect, Respond
You need to be fed by other people's creativity
If you haven't seen the video of Valerie Kaur speaking at the AME Methodist Church on New Year's Eve 2016, responding in large part to the election of Donald Trump, watch it here. I had seen this, and I remember being very moved by it. More recently, I heard her on one of my favorite podcasts, the Bioneers. I had just found this podcast, and I was binge-listening - it seemed like one after the other was making me tear up, including Kaur. At this time, the book was not yet released, but I pre-ordered it. This is an amazing book, and I hope it goes viral! I hope the whole idea of Revolutionary Love of which she writes goes viral. I am amazed that one person so young, had so much to write about: her Sik-American heritage, which is about the same amount of time in the US as my ancestors from Asia; the confrontations as a child with fundamentalist Christians; her coming of age in 9-11 but also her people being a target for anti-Muslim hatred; her difficult health issues. There's more. The thread that ties it together is love. How through all of this, love is the answer. I know that sounds hokey, but I so resonate with it, as it is a topic that I am obsessed with too. Not romantic love, but love for your fellow human. I still hang onto the hope that my Trump-supporting friends and family will see how their speech and actions fuel hatred, not love. But I refuse to believe that we will forever be divided as we are now. Kaur's book gives me not only the hope, but a "manifesto" - a guide for proceeding with what she has termed "revolutionary love." She suggests useful tools to deal with the problem of hatred, such as to catch yourself when you feel offended, and instead wonder about the offender. She tells her own stories of the process - it was never easy, but she shows that it is possible. Highly recommend this book.