How Do You Love Your Enemy?

hope

In September, I addressed the question “What Is the Place of Love in Politics?” My answer was that contrary to the mean gut reaction that love and politics are separate. Rather love is fundamentally part of political life. Love should be front and center motivating us to see our political fellows empathetically. That still doesn’t seem too difficult to me. What is difficult is not the love but opposition with love. How do I maintain my opposition to the forces of oppression while expressing love? There is a tenuous balance here. I need to stake my claim about what is fundamentally wrong without giving into odious tactics or hurting others. The ends do not justify the means. The means are always important.

So then, how do I maintain my opposition to the forces of oppression while expressing love?

My answer to this is a little more abstract. It is to love without fear. I have learned one very important thing today: I have been afraid. I have been afraid of asking people for help. I have been afraid of bothering people with my dedication to justice. My means will always be respectful, but I am no longer afraid of asking. I understand that I will be rejected. I understand that the rejection will not always be polite or even safe. But it is worth it. The stakes are too high to avoid asking.

I am going to do two things from now own. I am going to tell everyone I love them. I will not shy away from those words. I will not soften them with ones that seem more appropriate. I love you. Because I do. Because it is my goal to love everyone. I will fail. But I will keep working at it. And the second thing I am going to do is ask you to join me. Join me in working hard – the hardest I have ever worked for anything ever – to love each other. To stake our claim to the value of love. We are asking for nothing less than our lives, and we will accept nothing less than our lives. I am asking you to join me in love.

Yours in Love,

Amy E. Harth

@pracadamy

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