My Moment of Doubt

I’ve been wanting to say something about the shooting in Arizona, but what do you say about a senseless act? That it was senseless? Horrific? Insane? That I’m sorry and dispirited and sad? It is. I am.

I could talk about gun control, I guess. I have strong feelings about it, but that’s not the part that’s been eating at me, and it’s a little like talking about abortion or the death penalty. There is nothing I can say on this blog that will change the minds of people who disagree with me. I could talk about the need for more/better/affordable/accessible mental heath services, or the vitriol of our political discourse (which I truly believe fosters a climate in which extremism becomes the norm, and crazy becomes less identifiable). I could tell you how I’ve started turning off NPR because I can’t stand to listen to the pundits, celebrities and politicians busily assigning and deflecting blame.

All of those are worthy topics for discussion, and those discussions are happening everywhere – on news sites, on blogs, on Twitter and Facebook. I’ve been having them myself with friends and family and a few people who don’t fall into either of those categories. But they are not what’s bothering me here, on Zebra Sounds.

What’s bothering me here is more personal. It’s a feeling of futility. A creeping discomfort that I’m being silly, that my great, big fat fun, awesome Love Project is frivolous and goofy, that one person can’t make a difference in a world where we find our identity, and even a sense of comfort and reassurance, in the things that divide us.

When I conceived of The Love Project at the end of last year, I was so excited. I imagined it gaining momentum one spontaneous connection at a time, people pausing to listen to others who feel alive with being heard; people reaching out to others who are daring to stand still and be touched. I wrote down all the ways I could think of to spread love, from the tiniest of gestures to the grandest, from a kiss, a hug, a smile, to love letters written in the sky.

It was fun to make the list, it made me hopeful, irrationally happy. Love’s  awesome that way, dazzling in its ability to inspire and transform, but over the weekend and again today, I felt my smallness. My silliness. The quiet of my one tiny voice in the big crazy din.

And then it hit me. In this world that makes me sad every day, surrounded by people I don’t understand and who most certainly do not understand me, in these times of uncertainty and carelessness and brutality and intolerance, what we need is love. Maybe it’s not all we need – some serious economic recovery and a little more sanity in the public discourse would be great – but love is the thing we can do.Today. Now.

At least I think so. What do you think?


  1. Greg on January 11, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    There’s a saying in taoism that water will eventually wear away the hardest rock. In a world full of bigotry, divisiveness and seemingly endless pain, love is that water. It is never small! After all, in the darkest of places, one small candle illuminates. 🙂

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:11 pm

      One small candle illuminates. I love that. Thank you, Greg.

  2. Melissa on January 11, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    I think it’s absolutely the way. Absolutely. I completely empathise with the doubt: I think you have to go against a kind if scepticism or distrust when you love freely and openly (and I only say that because I am just moving away from these sentiments) – but I have been reminded a lot recently that it is small steps that shift the world, even though we look for big solutions. It’s little, accomplishable things that can have a huge impact and spread more powerfully.

    I think love is fundamental to this because it is the antedote to the pain and isolation and anger that is around. I don’t know enough about this incident but I think, generally, we’re looking for connection and empathy and acknowledgement – and when it’s absent things go wrong.

    Keep doing what you’re doing. What’s the alternative? xx

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:12 pm

      Actually, “what’s the alternative?” is a really good question. I think I’ll write about that. You always make me think, Melissa. xo

  3. terrepruitt on January 12, 2011 at 12:46 am

    I think that it is important to surround yourself with what you need to make it through your day. I think that there is a lot of negative stuff in the world and it is important for us to bring something positive. If everyone just shut down and stopped because of all the stuff out there that we don’t like, it would take over.

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:13 pm

      That’s true. Gotta fight the crazy. Thanks, Terre.

  4. Mike H on January 12, 2011 at 1:22 am

    One person changed is a change. If you choose to relate to and see the workdin a different way then the world will be different – at least for you.

    We change the world one moment at a time.

    “would you like fries with that?”

    “I love your hair. Would you like fries with that?”

    Which world do you want to live in? You can make your choice everyone else can make theirs. Any choice you make is infectious. Any choice you make will change you first. Choose!

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:14 pm

      That made me laugh. I do love people who love my hair. 😉 Thank you, Mike.

  5. Michael on January 12, 2011 at 1:29 am

    Sometime it seems like the still, small voice gets lost in the tumult, shouted over by angry voices, or manic voices, or hatred, or frivolity. But the still, small voice is usually still speaking when every other voice has lost its steam, spent its anger, tired itself out. Love is that voice, the sometimes small one that speaks in measured tones, and positive ones, and calls for patience and empathy. Sometimes, many times, it seems quieter than the ones around it, and its an easy thing to lose in the noise, or even think has disappeared altogether.

    But it hasn’t, and it doesn’t. And even though it’s quiet sometimes, when the one voice is joined by others, it can become louder than any anger or ignorance, louder than thunder and bombs and guns. It just takes time. Time to grow, and the right time to break out.

    So please, keep speaking and be hopeful. Other voices will join yours, and soon they’ll form a chorus, and if that chorus gets big enough it will drown out all the other chatter by far. At least that what I think, what I hope. You’re planting seeds. Wait, and watch them grow.

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:15 pm

      The world needs more Michaels. (You. Not the name.) <3

  6. Andrea Maurer on January 12, 2011 at 5:27 am

    “In this world that makes me sad every day, surrounded by people I don’t understand and who most certainly do not understand me, in these times of uncertainty and carelessness and brutality and intolerance, what we need is love. ”

    Yes, yes, a thousand times yes! And I would contend that this sometimes seemingly flowery little sentiment is the key to the seemingly BIG issues that we keep getting sideways and stuck on. Everything else is a Band-Aid.

    The Beatles said it best… “All you need is love…”

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:17 pm

      That song was running through my head all weekend, along with a voice that kept asking, “profound truth, or silly lyric?” We’ll go with truth.

  7. Swanlady on January 12, 2011 at 5:55 am

    Love is the way
    @Mike H – you said it really well.
    It is for each one of us who are a part of the whole to love and to bring love to consciousness without being attached to the end result. The more we love the brighter our light and that is certainly what is needed in this crazy time we are now living in. Blessings to all and keep shining your light in love.

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:18 pm

      “Without being attached to the result.” That is something I’m only beginning to learn. Thank you for the reminder.

  8. Estrella Azul on January 12, 2011 at 6:05 am

    That is so true! If one can make another person happy by sending a text, a package, give them a hug and kiss, it’s all worth it for both the person giving love and the one on the receiving end of it.
    It’s true, it’s a small thing, a individual small project, but it counts for so much when you really think about it!

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:19 pm

      And that should be enough – the opportunity to make someone else happy. Thanks, Estrella.

  9. @boonieschick on January 12, 2011 at 6:42 am

    It’s challenging to come after all these profoundly wonderful comments but I need to chime in.

    j, I’m so glad you came to the conclusion you wrote about at the end of your post. Because the choice not to listen to those doubting voices is another act of love. The voice inside that tries to drown out our best impulses is not love.

    Jackson Browne sang, “Get up and do it again,” referring to our need to get up each day and be another cog in the wheel. But we can turn around and sing that about overcoming the voice inside that tries to get us to conform to blandness, to self-doubt, to staying safe and comfortable.

    You’ve already made your choice, but imagine if you didn’t. Imagine announcing on your blog that you were giving up the Love Project because it’s too frivolous. There would be an outcry! What you do matters to all of us. And it’s not just one lone person trying to spread more love. You’ve already got us thinking deeply and taking actions. It doesn’t matter if we judge those actions (like sending a love card) to be small. It’s the ripple effect. The ripple effect goes out beyond what you could ever trace even by reading these comments. And that’s as it should be. You might be reaching someone in Tanzania for all you know. And it may look quite different from what it looks here at its origin. But that’s what’s so cool! It gets shaped by every person it touches.

    I read somewhere that self-doubt actually has a useful function. We can use it to become more determined to go ahead. We can use it to argue against those whispering condemnations and remind ourselves why we want something. And you’ve done just that. Right Use of Doubt. Go, j!

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:20 pm

      With a little help from my friends. <3

  10. lunaJune on January 12, 2011 at 6:54 am

    Judy… don’t stop !! the world revolves…. and truly we can only change ourselves…and with that send the ripples of love and compassion and wonder to the world….the words that changed my world

    be the change…


    a candle looses nothing by lighting another candle

    so keep the love light burning… we are taking that light..sharing that light
    thinking about that light…and becoming more light ourselves

    something we think things but never actually get around to doing them… and with this I can see just reading the comments that you’ve already made such a big impact… so anytime you feel unsure… look at the ripples close to you and you will see the wonder they carry…
    Thanks for being the wonderfulness of you
    your cape is blowing in the wind.. inspiring us daily

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:21 pm

      I love that: A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. Yay for the candle metaphors! xo

  11. Caroline on January 12, 2011 at 7:01 am

    Tired, not enough coffee – rambling starts now:
    In my life, when I am stressed out or depressed or feeling overwhelmed, which is sort of like stressed out and depressed combined, I know that I can come here and be touched by wonder and beauty and forced to think about others when all I want to do is be stressed out about things in my own life. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m known for repeating myself, so – in my self-absorbed busy life, I come here, three times a week, and I feel better every time I leave ZS. I don’t always comment, but just know – you help me, three times a week, every week. I love The Love Project, and the creator of it. Without love – we have nothing, with Love we can have everything. xxoo

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:23 pm

      Thank you, Caroline. You have no idea how much your words mean to me. My smile is the sound that a zebra makes. 😉 xo

  12. Tall Pajama Man on January 12, 2011 at 7:02 am

    J, I must agree with you, and disagree as well (but I think you’ll like the Disagreement 😉 )

    I agree that at this time we definitely need love, expressions of love, thoughts of love and loving thoughts. The only thing that will pull us from the despair of the darkness of our times is that which really is the source of our life and livelihood: love.

    Truthfully, if we really give ourselves to loving, loving well and loving fully, it reveals itself as so much bigger than any of the ugliness the world can offer. Strangely, when you get past those that are speaking for selfish purposes, you will find most speaking works of love over these events: concern over the families and victims… questions of how we can live absent of these tragedies… just as wounds pour out the very lifegiving blood, tragedies like this reveal an outpouring of love from the masses…

    Your one-woman stand for love reminds me of the picture of the man standing in front of the tank at Tianamen Square. One person, one act, yet it ignited the minds and hearts of people around the world. Your love project is already going viral with those who have heard about it, sprouting off in different ways, taking on a life of its own… this is no small thing…

    Nor is it goofy and silly, although the very concept of real and true love brings that part of us to the forefront – it causes us to dream, to imagine, to enjoy, and to live in the utter ridiculousness of the obvious…love is that powerful, and I get to live and participate in that? I can make a difference just by choosing to love? Yes, absolutely…

    We may not be able to change time, to bring back those that were cut off senselessly, but the love that their families have for them will cause them to live on in both memory and influence… love does that… your project does that…

    Just my 2.37 cents…

    Thanks for loving us well, and inspiring the same in us J… I love you for that

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:25 pm

      This is beautiful: “… although the very concept of real and true love brings that part of us to the forefront – it causes us to dream, to imagine, to enjoy, and to live in the utter ridiculousness of the obvious…love is that powerful…”

      Your 2.37 cents-worth is quite awesome. Thank you, my friend.

  13. Mary (azsky13) on January 12, 2011 at 7:24 am

    As you know, I am usually playing tunes and sharing them Saturday nights on Twitter. Last Saturday, I really didn’t feel like it. But a wise woman, Caroline, reminded me that people might need a break from all of the news. So I played the most beautiful music I could find. When I finished 2 hours later I got several comments thanking me. At one point I posted the following:

    It is easy to be angry and look to blame when tragic events occur. But it is anger that causes much of the strife. Perhaps it is time to let it go.

    Your “Love Project” and my music help people to do just that. They help people let go of the anger and replace it with something else. And I can’t think of anything better to replace it with than love and music.

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:27 pm

      I love that story – that Caroline encouraged to play music, and you did, and people took the time to tell you it mattered. That’s how I want the world to work.

  14. Amy on January 12, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Clearly the Arizona shooting is bothering everyone. Even John Stewart was so fed up with the vitriol of our political discourse that he eliminated his comedic monologue for a more serious one.

    Maybe there is something deeper behind the Beatles “All You Need Is Love.” I certainly believe 24-hour news is one of the worst things to come about in my lifetime.

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:31 pm

      It’s interesting that you say that because I do this all the time. I can’t stop listening to the coverage of a story and then suddenly, I can’t listen for even a second more. I get sort of emotionally saturated and raw. 24-hour news cycles demand, I think, more hyperbole, more outrageousness, more sensationalism to draw viewers… why we all drift to the noise, I don’t know.

      I absolutely loved Jon Stewart’s monologue (after the pajamas part which I didn’t think quite worked). I will probably include it in The Friday List.

  15. Lisa on January 12, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Judy, Your words make a difference in my life everyday! I know I don’t respond often…but I am always reading and feeling the love. If I am missing my smile, I know I can find it on Zebra Sounds 🙂 If you are ever wondering if your efforts make a difference….I am here to tell you “they do”!!!!!

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:32 pm

      You made me cry. Thank you. We are mutual fans, trust me. <3

  16. Lydia on January 12, 2011 at 7:49 am

    We don’t do this to change the world, sweetie. We can’t change the world. We can only change US. But if we become a safe place, a smile, a hug, or even a good memory for someone – then that’s a start, like a tiny seed that manages to find its way to a crack in the sidewalk.

    A rising tide lifts all boats.

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:36 pm

      You are wonderful. I remember when I was young, just out of business college, I worked for a recruiter. I was in her office and she was talking to someone on the phone, complaining about a screwed up order or something, but being so understanding and nice that “complaining” doesn’t even feel like the right word. I was awed by how polite and sweet she was. She hung up, saw my face and said, “I never want to be the person that fucks up someone else’s day.”

      I love that.

      I definitely want to believe that a rising tide lifts all boats.

  17. Teresa ZM on January 12, 2011 at 8:28 am


    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:36 pm


  18. Kellie Walker (aka YourLifeInGear) on January 12, 2011 at 8:42 am


    I feel your pain. I really do. There are many times I also feel sad and alone and misunderstood and disappointed and disillusioned with the way things seem to be going in this country.

    But then I connect with people like you who have these wonderful sparks of inspiration that turn into beautiful things like The Love Project. Those connections make me hope (believe?) that the media is focusing too much on the sad and the scary to sell us something, keep us tuned in, or something. Because when I think about the people I know, even the ones who don’t agree with or understand me, they still love me – as I am. And that counts for something (if not everything).

    For the times you feel doubt that one person can make a difference, read this blog post:

    If that doesn’t work, try listening to Stand Back Up by Sugarland. It gets me through my dark spots.

    Hugs and sparkles and love to you, j.

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:41 pm

      Love that post. Thank you, Kellie. And I think you’re right. Angry, hyperbolic and bloody sells, and so that’s what we hear about and see on TV. But there are a lot of amazing, wonderful people (like you) doing amazing wonderful things we don’t get to hear about.

      Much hugs and sparkles and love back to you!

  19. Paolo Terni on January 12, 2011 at 9:44 am

    I totally agree with you,
    every single word you wrote 🙂
    Thank you.
    And you have my support… 🙂

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:41 pm

      Thank you, partner. <3

  20. Joanne Ludlow Firth on January 12, 2011 at 10:15 am

    This moved me to tears j. Partly because one so loving as yourself could have doubts. You do make a difference. The love you share here at Zebra Sounds is passed around and then passed around some more….on and on. There still are good things, they may be obscured by the bad most of the time but people like yourself are making it happen. Making love and creativity happen. I’m very on board with what you do here, it makes a difference in my life and in turn it encourages me to make a difference in someone elses life. I shall call it “j it forward” . No doubts here, not a single one. Period. <3

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:43 pm

      “j it forward” made me laugh. You are consistently an inspiration to me as well, Joanne. So happy we inhabit the same virtual space. My life is richer for that. xo

  21. Tricia on January 12, 2011 at 10:26 am

    Be the change you want the world to be.

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:44 pm

      I am trying. Thank you, pretty lady.

  22. sue jeeves alias Jack on January 12, 2011 at 12:37 pm

    I love that Greg commented first about water being able to wear down even the hardest rock. I agree that love is like water.
    This is not a futile project (etc.).
    Tsunamis can result in disasters just as enough love can heal the world.

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:45 pm

      That Greg, he’s a wise one. And so are you. I love “enough love can heal the world. <3

  23. j on January 12, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    When I wrote this post, I was feeling uncertain and small, and I wanted to write it because I think it’s important not to spew butterflies and rainbows when what I’m feeling is more broken and unraveled than fierce and fearless. It was time for me to post, and I didn’t want to shy away from what was really happening for me.

    What I didn’t realize was how much I needed to hear what you have all been wonderful enough to tell me… remind me, actually, because of course I believe that one person matters, that loving impulses acted upon cause ripples, and those ripples are no less real just because I can’t see them.

    Your comments have inspired me, and I wanted to tell you that. Spontaneous connection has never been more beautiful than this. Thank you.

  24. jb on January 12, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    I’ve been sorting through those same feelings. Isn’t it interesting, that when these tragic events occur, they make us feel futile? That all the good, positive things that we’re doing don’t matter? That one person can’t make a difference?

    And yet, (at the risk of being insensitive) we forget that gunman was just one person and he made a huge (and unthinkable and horrible) difference.

    I’m not sure what it says about our media and our world that so much of our information is based on bad news rather than good. But I choose to believe that your love project, and all the other good things done by “one person” in this world are just as important and have just as much (and hopefully more!) impact than the tragic ones, even if they never make the news.

    No doubts here. Onwards with your love project! 🙂

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:50 pm

      Thanks, jb. You don’t sound insensitive. I think you’re saying one person armed with love can do as much good at the crazies, and the bullies, and the bad guys can do bad. That’s empowering. I want to believe it too.

  25. terrepruitt on January 12, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    Everybody loves your hair. (In reference to a comment made way up there . . . not just coming out of the blue.)

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:51 pm

      Ha! And I never get tired of hearing that. 😉

  26. Kevin on January 12, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    The love project is sooo very necessary these days. You continue on, you are a light.

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 4:51 pm

      As are you. Thank you, Kevin.

  27. Hippiechick on January 12, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    My one wish: If I am going to err, let me err on the side of love.

    • j on January 12, 2011 at 9:24 pm

      Me too.

  28. Rachelintheoc on January 12, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Love your insights, as always, Miss Hair ;-). It’s indeed been a rough week. Is it because she is a woman, a mother that resonates so deeply with us all as a nation? Perhaps. There’s more to it, of course. But your idea, your heart is what carries us to the right place.

    • j on January 13, 2011 at 9:21 am

      Actually I don’t think Gabrielle Griffords is a mother (though others who died in the tragedy were). I do think we are touched by the very real lives cut short or altered irrevocably, and by the senselessness of the violence. For me, contemplating the climate that might make such a thing possible… even inevitable made me feel a little lost. Thank you for your words of encouragement; they help more than you know.

  29. Pam on January 12, 2011 at 9:28 pm

    We are simultaneously small and infinite, weak and powerful. I love looking at the ocean because it brings that home to me so strongly. I’m tiny compared to the ocean, yet my understanding can perceive its vastness.

    Your love project is wonderful. (So shines a good deed in a weary world.) Hugs to you.

    • j on January 13, 2011 at 9:24 am

      I absolutely love “we are simultaneously small and infinite.” Wish I wrote that, but I’m happy you wrote it here. And you are right, it is our ability to comprehend vastness (feel compassion, sustain hope) that makes us powerful, despite our weaknesses. Thank you, Pam. (And that is my favorite Willy Wonka quote of all time.) <3

  30. Patrick Ross on January 13, 2011 at 8:28 am


    The Love Project is beautiful. I think the key is defining success. I just wrote about that on my blog, about a crusade I launched a year ago to improve civil discourse with a site called It’s getting attention today because the San Jose Merc ran a piece of mine on the project, but as I blogged, it can feel frustrating to think I can make a difference. Your goals and mine are similar (and I see Milli Thornton has nominated you to be celebrated at iCivility!). All I can say is, hang in there, we need all the positive energy in this world we can get.

    Oh, and your mention of extremism and pundits is the thrust of my Merc oped, BTW.

    • j on January 13, 2011 at 9:35 am

      Thank you, Patrick. Defining success for the Love Project would be interesting. Maybe it’s as simple as staying the course. One year of actually loving fearlessly. The beauty of the project is that I don’t know what will grow out of it. I have a feeling a lot of things will – creative, tangible and soulful.

      Your oped piece makes a valid point, judging from my own resistance to say both sides of the political discourse are equally responsible for messages of violence. We all come to the conversation with our biases, which we must try to see beyond. I know that I have contributed to the hyperbole and vitriol myself a few times. I found Obama’s speech yesterday very inspiring. We can control how we treat each other, and should… no matter what was in the troubled mind of a violent man.

      I’m looking forward to checking out!

  31. Jeramy Hale on January 13, 2011 at 9:19 am

    For sure one of the over-riding themes in my life, is deciding whether life is friendly … or my enemy. The media and the way many people conduct their lives would have me believe that life is my enemy.

    So I have these never ending cycles where I am fairly freaked out … although I hide it well … I get so depressed by living that way … it’s a no win situation and keeps me separate from everything and everyone … until I can’t stand it any longer and I dig deeper into my experience and understanding that has shown me that life is friendly despite all the ‘evidence’ to the contrary. Thank you Fox news for the terrible examples … there are just as money examples of kindness that never hit the media.

    You know that saying … that I can only change myself? I cannot change anyone else. However by changing myself, I can invisibly effect my world and everyone in it … in the most subtle of ways … on a cellular level. It’s me that changes. It’s my attitude that changes … and that makes all the difference. It isn’t easy though. I have to be watchful of the way I think … I can’t just let things slide in my inner world of heart and mind. I have to direct my intention to creating a better world. It’s the hardest job in the universe and the one job I believe we are all here to do. We are all equal in this endeavor.

    So be the love warrior you are Judy. It feeds me and it feeds everyone who reads yours words … and it serves humanity in the best of all ways.

    • j on January 13, 2011 at 3:45 pm

      “I have to direct my intention to creating a better world. It’s the hardest job in the universe and the one job I believe we are all here to do.” That’s beautiful, Jeramy. And I like the idea of being a love warrior. I’ve got a couple of scars to prove it. 😉

  32. ramblingscotsman on January 13, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    I am so late to the party, and so many profound things have been said that I can neither disagree with nor add to.

    Suffice to say, if only there were a helluva lot more like you in this world, it would be a much better place 🙂

    You make me want to be better 🙂

    • j on January 13, 2011 at 3:46 pm

      Never too late for you to join! That last sentence of yours made me big-time mushy. You all do that to me, too. <3

  33. Meg Sweeney on January 13, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    You have caught the frustrating feeling of futility as you prepare your love project in the face of painful, moreover, absurd events. This is all the more reason to forge ahead. In loving times, the love project would be a snap. In savage times, the love project would take on the mantel of righteousness, which is a turn-off for me at least. In these senseless times, this project is whispering what we need as a foundation, breathing into the areas where we desire something concrete. Love, alive and liquid, appears the silly answer, doesn’t it? Yogis would say this would be a wonderful moment to learn to detatch from the outcome. One more thing, I meditated yesterday on the thought: when we succeed we can not honestly take all the praise, and when we fail, we can not honestly take all the blame. We truly are only one, and we are all one. At any rate, I like marching in this army.

  34. kaleighsomers on January 14, 2011 at 6:26 am

    This makes me want to write you a whole long response, but for now I’ll stick with this: It’s really discouraging at times when you set out to do something and it seems near impossible. I’m only 20 and I’ve felt that way about a number of things. But with this love project, it’s really hard to define how it’s impacting others. Love’s an abstract concept. We can’t see it or hear it, but we feel it. And it feels different or looks different or sounds different to everyone.

    When you set out to change the world and start small, you don’t always see how your actions change things. You don’t know what the course of the day would hold if you didn’t do those random acts of kindness or say those words of admiration. You don’t know if you stopped someone from shooting down someone else or committing suicide or attempting a robbery. But you have to believe that you did. Love is patient, and so are its results.

    • j on January 14, 2011 at 8:08 am

      Thank you, Kaleigh. You’re right about love being patient. It’s a profound truth that I think most of us forget in our relationships. I think my doubt (this time) stemmed less from being tied to an end result, and more from being faced with the seeming enormity of the other side – the bitterness and vitriol and cynicism that felt, suddenly, overwhelming to me. There are few things more dispiriting than to feel that maybe even the good guys think you’re kind of a goofball.

      You have all helped though. Goofball or not, I believe in the cause. Jeramy called me, and I call all of us, love warriors. I think maybe that’s what it takes – a warrior’s bravery to keep putting your heart out there even though sometimes it hurts.

  35. Lance on January 14, 2011 at 8:03 am

    I wrote what I had to write over at Micheal places and my blog about Arizona. As a parent, I get too sad and too angry thinking about the 9 year old who lost her life.

    If you read what I wrote over at Micheal’s or mine then great, if not, basically, we can do better at getting along with each other, period. Not just politics.

    • j on January 14, 2011 at 8:09 am

      Of course I’ll read what you wrote elsewhere. And of course I agree. We could certainly do better at getting along.

  36. […] I had a huge moment of doubt, not that dissimilar (I don’t think) from the one I read about here a few weeks […]

  37. […] next day I write a post, and I’m not sure as I sit down to write it whether I’m in or out. In the end, it’s a plea […]

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