“I’m giving away love,” I reply. But it’s actually more than that.
Not long ago, I saw Billy Bragg in concert. During his show, he said the greatest threat to progress was cynicism. Not the cynicism of our leaders, or of political parties, but our own cynicism. He told the crowd, “I go around singing to bring people hope.” Billy Bragg attained hero status in that moment.
My epiphany came next: I knew I wanted to do something hopeful and bold. Now, I can’t sing to people. I only sing alone in my car with the windows rolled up. But I do have an abundance of love in my life, and the i love you, too message. In conjunction with launching the LoveYou2.org website for readers to download and print their own i love you, too signs, and share Get Love. Give Love. stories, I printed 1,000 i love you, too signs, and have been posting them madly, giving them away, and asking readers to do the same.
It is important to me that the i love you, too message is free, easy, accessible and appeals to a variety of people. I enjoy watching someone’s face light up when they know exactly what they are going to do with their sign. I wonder where these thousands of i love you, too tabs are hung, tucked or kept for reminding.
I know that simply living in this vibrant world and being conscious of current events puts us in frequent contact with stories of tragedy, divisive messages, and marketing that sells unattainable perfection. While these negative elements compete for our attention and shift our focus, there is something else I know – Love is Louder.
Now, I don’t think that the i love you, too signs will end war. We still need to stock our food banks and teach everyone to read. There are vaccines to be developed. Justice is not universal. There is real, important, critical work to be done. But I do believe that hope is a rallying call, and sustaining for those working to make the world a better place.
Sometimes it takes a little love to pull on the marching boots one more time. Of course it is love when we take a deep breath and say from our heart, “I am so very sorry.” With love can come the acceptance we are seeking for ourselves or for others – the kind of love that fills up space so that there is no room left for hate. A little hope, a little love can inspire one to do more, to try again, to believe that change is possible, or remind us why, in fact, we do this work at all.
Thank you for joining me in sharing the love. Love really is Louder.