The Heart of an Activist Who Loves More
I don’t know how not to be an activist. I don't know how not to be the truth in the shadow of a lie. I just don't know any other way.
When I was a kid, I was considered an upstart. I always pointed out the truth when it was inconvenient to do so. For some reason, my brain was wired for reality, wired for truth, wired to seek knowledge and wired for compassion. When I was 5, and my uncle took me to Disneyland for the first time, I loudly exclaimed, "This is all a lie!" He was dumbfounded and embarrassed. I was impertinent. This is a true story. Kids are supposed to love the fantasy and the mystery and made up storytelling. Perhaps I was an old soul.
Seven years later, I was with my mom in a tiny mom-and-pop copy store, and the beautiful Chinese gentleman behind the counter gasped when he saw me, rushed around to the other side, bowed to me, and began kissing my hands and my cheeks. He proclaimed that I was a reincarnation of a Chinese god. This was confusing to me then and I froze. I'm not even sure what I would do now. It was my turn to be dumbfounded.
At home, my mother always came to me for advice, which was odd and disconcerting for a child. She started this when I was around 7 and it continued through my teens. The weird thing, however, was that I often said the right thing.
What does this even mean? Nothing. Really. It was just indicative of my grounding in realism and desire to be of service.
At 14, I asked my rabbi grandfather how he could possibly know there was a God. I mean, had he even seen this guy? 'Cause I sure as hell couldn't believe "he" existed since I couldn't see him. This God guy wasn't tangible to me. I was also confused about the gender. Did God HAVE to be a man? My Zeide gave me a perfect, rabbinical answer, one intended to encourage deep thought: "Well, you can't question something that doesn't exist," he said. This answer quelled my curiosity for some time, but it didn't sway my disbelief. My perception of something bigger and more powerful than me was always the sea: its vastness and ability to move me and sway me was clearly more powerful than I could ever be. But alas, I call it the sea. Not God.
I have always resisted this idea of groupthink. It is hard for me to believe something just because someone said so. I need to investigate and dissect everything. I need to understand the root system of whatever it is I am investing my time. I am still this way and in some ways, it makes me stubborn and inflexible…until I understand completely.
In the last two years, I have decided to honor my own path of bringing light to the shadows. I started the LoveMore Movement to celebrate others that were doing the difficult shadow work--those who walk toward difficulty instead of away from it: something I have always found myself doing. After enduring trauma so great 10 years ago, I re-discovered the power of truth in the work of Eve Ensler, a woman who has empowered women through the stories of their survival from their trauma. In the last couple of years, I discovered the impenetrable work of Father Gregory Boyle, the founder of Homeboy Industries and saw the deep compassion that drives him to be the lantern in the darkest areas of Los Angeles. I watch my dear friend, a stay-at-home mother, perpetually be of service because she wants to. I see her struggle against the misunderstanding of her husband and the lack of gratitude from her children and when I ask her why she does it, she tells me it's because she wants to and loves to be of service. I've witnessed and become inspired by a dear friend getting sober, and profoundly pulling his life together. He's become a mentor for those suffering from Tourrette Syndrome and those healing from addiction. He is one of my heroes. I realized I wanted everyone to know who these people are. I want everyone to see that a glimmer of light is worth so much more than a cacophony of darkness.
I don’t know how not to be an activist. I don't know how not to be the truth in the shadow of a lie. I just don't know any other way. I know no other way than to LoveMore.