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Choosing to Love Out Loud

I hope today’s post finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe! 

It feels good to be writing again after a much needed break. I have been focused on me and my teen’s overall well-being during this break, along with engaging in a deeper level of healing and critical self-reflection. One particular reflection has led me back to examining a topic that the late bell hooks wrote extensively about: Love. Self-love. Familial & intimate partner love. Community love. Justice as love.

So, since I am just getting back into the groove of things, I will make this post short-ish.

Rolling Back Progress

If you are in the U.S. today, you know that there are some who are celebrating Independence Day. Prior to this day that commemorates the 13 colonies being freed from the tyranny of British rule via the ratification of the Declaration of Independence; we have experienced an erosion to this country’s attempts at addressing the tyranny of white supremacy and patriarchy: The supreme court’s decision to dismantle racial affirmative action in college admissions, as well as to put the kibosh on President Biden’s student loan forgiveness program. Roe v. Wade was overturned in June of last year. There are bans on books AND people, food deserts, the rate of homelessness is climbing and gun violence is…

With all of this regression happening around us, it is clear that not everyone is focused on engaging in an ethic of love. The irony of it all is that today is the day we are to show “love” to this country. To quote the Black Eyed Peas 2003 song, “Where is the love (Respect to Kim Hill)” for the human beings that make up this country? 

Unfortunately, there are those who do not see (or possibly do not care to see) that we are interconnected beings. However, there are people who clearly saw the lesson that COVID-19 provided: We are in fact interbeings whose wellbeing depends on one another.

Above: author, academician, philosopher, social critic and (re)searcher of love; the late great bell hooks. Image credit: Mijente, 2017.

7-Questions: Love in Action

Wherever you may be reading this post, I would like for you to think about love on the micro and macro levels. Here are 7-Questions (they’re baaaack!) to help you begin and/or continue to think about what love can look like in the different spaces you/we occupy:

  1. In her book, bell hooks provides the following components of love: 

Considering these components, which component(s) do you feel you can improve on with regard to yourself, your family and in your community?

  1. What would your country/your community/your workplace/your home be if you choose to engage in an ethic of love, for real-for real? 
  2. What does love need to look/feel/act like in order to positively support your circle of influence? 
  3. What benefits and drawbacks do you foresee in choosing to bring love (or more than you already are) into the environments you engage in? 
  4. What would happen if you engaged in an ethic of love at your job (either with a colleague or within your team)? What positive impact, if any, can you envision would bring change to the work environment?
  5. I have written a number of times throughout my blog about my favorite quote by philosopher Cornel West “Justice is what love looks like in public.” What is one thing you can do to support a positive shift towards justice for a social issue that is important to you?
  6. What is one loving act you can choose to engage in today that goes beyond your own four walls? 

Flag on the Play

So no, this is not a “Grand Old Flag” post. Please note: I am not in any way, shape or form unpatriotic…or maybe I am. If talking about showing love to people (including yourself) across all of the social constructs that were designed to keep us in fear and at each other’s throats is considered unpatriotic, sobeit. Now that I am fifty (Yes, I celebrated the big 5-0 in April), I have no desire to people please anymore. I have no space for it. My body has been abundantly clear that attempting to appease others has detrimental effects to me and those around me. And…people pleasing is not love.

As bell hooks stated in All About Love, “Love is a transformative force” and that “There can be no love without Justice.” With that said, here’s to Love, Justice and Liberation (It feels good to type those words again)!


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