No Fear. Love Conquers All.

 No Fear.  Love Conquers All.I consider Boston to be my home turf, having lived in that area (Cambridge, Newton, Winchester, Concord) for more than 30 years before moving to NYC.  I’ve been to the Marathon many times and just love everything that Boston is about.  I’ve long thought that Massachusetts just did things right.   Having been founded 400 years ago by a bunch of religious bigots – yes, the Puritans were bigots- who killed and tortured women herbalists as witches and shamed countless others for the silliest of infractions, Boston has grown and matured as appropriate with changing times.  That old intolerant and venal energy, the same energy that currently runs through the Taliban and the many other fundamentalists on Earth, has morphed into a been-there-done-that-we’re-so-over-the-bigotry attitude I’m proud to have developed myself.  Boston is a model of moderation and maturity.  And some awesome baseball (go Red Sox!).

So my heart is breaking that this fine city has taken a big hit with such cowardly violence.

And now it is up to us to decide how to respond.

Do we respond in the old cowboy way, riding out vigilante style to take out our vengeance on anyone we assume to have been involved (read this, war on Iraq)?  Do we clutch our kids close to us, buy a gun and pull back into even more fear (read this, various school shootings)?  Do we get cynical about others and about the nature of life itself (read this, talk shows of every stripe)?  Are there any other ways to respond to this sudden and heinous violence?

I recall being in London right after July 7, their 9/11, when several buses and subways were bombed and scores were murdered.  Within 3 days of that shocking event, as soon as those venues opened again, the British were back on the subways and buses in large numbers.  Cabbies, hotel maids, waiters, shop keepers, and pub folks all responded to my questions with a similar sentiment – paraphrasing now, they said “We’re English.  We do not concede our freedom to terrorists.  Period.”  It was dazzling, this show of socially-appropriate defiance in the face of danger.  Despite having been raised by a very anti-British Irish mother, I fell in love with the Brits for real on that trip.  They are the very definition of True Grit.

So here’s my view of this.  Ignorant creeps can do whatever they want to disturb civic discourse.  They may continue to kill and maim and spew their inside-out self-hatred (the source of all hate comes from the self)… and we will offer love.

Love is not woo-woo romantic crap.  Love is the most powerful force in the Universe, more powerful than nuclear explosions or the deadliest viruses.  And love does this with no effort.

Love says that we are not afraid.  Love says that we will attend to each other and bandage the hearts of the shattered.  Love will propel us to show up and continue to live our lives in peace and internal safety.  Through love, we will run the Boston Marathon again and join cheering crowds anywhere.  We will go on and continue to fully experience our lives.  Love ensures that justice will be served somehow, someway.

So do we choose to be people from the land of the free and the home of the brave?  Are we willing to have the courage to actually be free and brave?  Because it takes courage to hold love when we don’t feel loving.

Take a deep breath and join me in our growing grassroots movement out of Sandy Hook CT:

We’re Americans.  We choose love.


Less Stress, More Success

"Her book has added to her reputation as a kind of guru of the movement to tame the college admissions frenzy.”
New York Times
Our book group just read your book and it sparked more conversation than we’ve had in the seven years we’ve been reading together. Being successful professionals with busy lives and even busier children, we’re all trying to figure out how to find the time to just stop and enjoy our lives amidst so much pressure. Some of us find ourselves quoting you to our husbands and kids now, so you are our hero. ;-)
Sophia N. and Nancy R.

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