In response to the escalating tensions between the United States and North Korea and the hate crimes and violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, the contributing writers of Progress and Tea have written love letters to the world.
Letter # 1
I admit that right now I’m struggling to write the letter to you that I intended. I first thought of writing to you philosophically. I want you to know that I love you. I do not want our nation to add yet another humanitarian crisis to your shoulders. I want to solve the current problems, not see more bombs, more dead, more deafening stillness of what was and now isn’t.
I want to let you know that I’m still angry that my country didn’t love you enough not to elect a man who can be baited with a tweet, but mostly I want to tell you that I love [you]. I love how you nourish both the body and soul. Yet I’m struggling to write about love when I’m angry at those who simply find it impossible to be decent to others who look, pray, and love differently than them.
I love the world in its concreteness—the sweeping sunsets, the wilting yet stunning coral gladiolus sitting on my table, the sleekness of my cat as she prowls across couch. I love the moments of beauty and the mundane, watching the same stretch of highway day in and day out for deer. I love the world’s humans too, but sometimes, I am beyond disappointed in how hateful, destructive, and violent humans are.
I want to spread love—the type of love that cannot be disrupted by the hateful rhetoric of two childish leaders and their enablers. Yet I’m struggling because the most hateful voices are often the loudest. I want my words to make a difference, but moreso I want them to be a blip in the number of calls for equality and love.
I am angry that Trump isn’t the only asshat in this country. I’m angry that old racists aren’t expected to become social justice warriors in their final years because we hold tight to the idea that we can’t teach old dogs empathy.
Worse, I’m saddened by all the youthful faces, people my age or younger, who’ve never learned to love and who marched in Charlottesville as [neo]Nazis, Klansmen, and white supremacists. I’m angry that people are carefully taught to hate.
I’m tired of waiting for the world to change. Eventually. People of Color who are being assaulted by white supremacists don’t have eventually. Victims of mass incarceration don’t have eventually. Refugees in war-torn lands don’t have eventually. DREAMers facing deportation don’t have eventually. They have now. What happens now matters.
I love the people who are speaking out for fairness and love, but I also want those who cannot speak out because of fear to know that they are loved. Those of us who can afford to be loud and brave must carry the weight.
We must be the love we want to see in the world.