I choose love.

I want to swear, then I want to cry, and then I want to swear some more.  After that I’d like to make some dire predictions, followed by some serious finger-pointing, and then move into sweeping commentary about the state of our nation.

And I want to do it publicly. On my Facebook page, in the comments of your page, on the pages of strangers. On Twitter too. I want hundreds of Likes from friends and strangers for the memes I post and the insightful snark I write. I want those who disagree with me to argue and call me names as vindication that my rapier-sharp wit and insight must have hit a nerve.

It would feel good to do all that. It’s felt good to do it in the past.

Really good.

But I don’t think it would do any good this time. At least not for me.

The only choice you control is your own. Choose love.

Today, I’m going to choose love.

Today, I’m going to choose to go high.

This is what that looks like for me:

  1. Praying for our elected leaders. All of them. I’m going to pray that they lead with love, compassion, boldness and justice. I’m going to pray for their well-being and that they rise to the great responsibilities before them. My prayers will also be for those who are hurt and scared right now, and for myself, that I’ll have the courage and insight to act boldly in love.I’ll be in prayer, like C.S. Lewis when he said, “I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping…It doesn’t change God, it changes me.” 
  2. Trying really hard to quiet my own echo chamber. This will be hard for me. I love to be a Facebook pundit. Another Occupy Democrats or The 99% meme? I reach for the Share button before I realize what I’m doing. Debate snark? Sign me up!But it’s not helpful for me right now, and it’s not really contributing to any sort of dialog. It might make my friends who agree with me say “right on!” or make them smile (which aren’t bad things), but these kind of things are designed to polarize or reinforce, not to help with understanding, learning or seeing the other side.
  3. Encouraging and hoping for reasonable cooperation and compromise in our government. I’ve seen what obstructionism looks like in Washington, and I’ve been pretty critical of it. Turnabout is not fair play.
  4. Doing all the good that I can do. I’m going to go out of my way each day to help and be a source of a someone’s smile. I plan to renew some volunteer opportunities I’ve been in engaged in in the past.
  5. Stepping up my job as an ally and advocate. I’m not LGBTQ, a person of color, a woman, Muslim or an immigrant, but to all those who are – I’ve got your back. Choosing love and taking the high road doesn’t mean sacrificing principle. I’m here to be a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, and a presence to stand strong against injustice.

This is what I think it looks like for me to choose love. I know it’s not complete, and I know I will fail at it frequently. But I’m going to try.

What does it look like for you to choose love?