By Iris Chen
I woke up this morning to the aftermath of another presidential debate. Facebook was filled with all the opinions. The more I read, the more I sunk into a sense of dread. The state of our nation's politics saddens me and I think pretty much everyone else too. I'm frustrated and fed up. I feel helpless in the sea of the political machine. I feel like though my vote should be important (because of democracy), yet the reality is that I am just one tiny little checkmark against so much chaos, cynicism, and ugliness. I'm dissatisfied with the current state of politics yet sobered because we dug ourselves this hole and jumped into it.
And out of all the swirling chaos, this is what bursts forth from me:
I cannot "fix" our politics. I cannot "fix" all the misogyny, ignorance, and hatred. I cannot wave a magic wand and instantly make the world a better place. But I can love the next person I see. I can be someone who leaves the people I encounter better and happier. I can be love.
And that matters. Because love is what gives us hope. Love that stretches itself to go outside of comfort zones. Love that bears wrongs patiently and returns grievances with mercy. Love that doesn't seek recognition but simply sees the task at hand, the person in front of them, and gives out of the kindness of one’s heart.
This is the love that changes me, changes people, and changes the world.
So how do I love?
Smile at your barista.
Do the dishes without being asked.
Give your parents a hug.
Call up a friend and go for a walk.
Tell someone why you think they're awesome.
Let someone go ahead of you in line.
Think of someone who's done you wrong and forgive them.
And do it again tomorrow. And the next day.
The world is big and there's a lot wrong with it. We've been placed in our own small corner of that world where we can be the difference. Be the change. Be the light. Be love.
Image via Melanie Reyes Photography