I believe in love, but not the superficial kind of love that you read about in sappy romance novels or Hallmark greeting cards. No, I believe in a revolutionary love. A radical love that calls me to oppose the systems of injustice, but also to love the people who are behind them.
I believe that love is only complete when it goes hand in hand with action. I believe that having one without the other is worse than not having either of them. I think doing is, in most cases, better that saying. BUT… I do believe in the power of discussion and dialogue.
I believe in the possibility of a different and better world than the one that we have now, and I think that world is only possible because of love. I know that there is a better way of doing things than the way that we do them now, and I want to figure out what that is. Thankfully, I’m not alone in trying to figure out what that way is, exactly.
I remember this anti-war demonstration that I attended quite clearly. It was pretty high profile, you know, news vans and what not. The riot police had shown up in full force and they took a rather aggressive stance in front of all of us. The traditional order to disperse was issued, but, needless to say, we didn’t exactly listen.
Everything was peaceful until some stupid anarchist from the crowd threw a bottle at the riot cops, and after that, all hell broke loose. The order for the cops to fire their “less than lethal” weapons into the crowd was shouted so loud that even the people in the back of the crowd could hear, and within a few minutes, tear gas and smoke grenades filled the streets with a thick white cloud of smoke.
The smoke disappeared rather quickly and I saw a young man, who couldn’t have been any older than 18, quickly make his way up to the front of the crowd carrying a few flowers in his hand. I saw him walk right up to one of the storm troopers, hand him a flower and say, “You and I are brothers, and I love you.” After a few tense moments of holding my breath and wondering what the cop was going to do, I saw the riot cop lower his gun and hug the young guy.
This is the kind of love that I believe in. A love that clearly says, “I won’t let you do this,” while in the same breath says, “I love you.” I believe that this is love in its truest sense. I believe in a radical love, a love that isn’t often seen in the world today. I think that only makes me believe in this revolutionary love all the more.
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