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Friday, November 9, 2012

{Food for Thought Friday} All You Need is Love

Photo courtesy of the inspiring Tracey Clark from Shutter Sisters

Today I feel sad. But with that sadness I also feel hopeful.

I feel sad for those who, still reeling from Sandy, were hit once again this week with more destructive weather. Weather that makes it hard to clean up the mess that is already there. Cold weather that is impossible to fend off without heat and electricity.

But I feel hopeful for these same people. Hopeful when I hear story after story of those sacrificing to help others, stepping up to comfort, feed and house those who can’t do so for themselves. Like Tad Long, a Dallas food truck owner I heard about through one of my high school friends in New Jersey. He’s heading to the Jersey shore this week. His food truck can serve 200 meals, so he’s serving those meals to people in need, even if it means driving 1,500 miles.

Despite the destruction, I have hope. People are resilient, especially when they lift one another up, love one another, serve one another.

In addition to the storms, the election has made me sad. Well, the election itself hasn’t made me sad. In fact, I’m grateful for the election, for the process, for what it represents. Taking my kids with me to vote was incredibly positive and uplifting. What makes me sad is watching the reactions of some people to the election results. I have been stunned at comments by friends and family, both online and in person. Hurtful comments that have brought people I love dearly to tears (I may have shed a tear or two myself, hurting for those hurt by the comments).

I know this is nothing new. It happens every four years. The losing side gets frustrated, sad, often angry. According to a Montreal-based immigration lawyer, every four years Americans start calling in September, convinced they will be moving to Canada in a month’s time. (In case you’re wondering, only 3 or 4 people in 30 years have made good on that promise.)

In spite of my sadness, though, I feel hopeful.

Hopeful…because of people like my amazing friend Amy, a committed Republican who posted on her Facebook wall the night of the election, “Congratulations to President Obama. He fought a hard race and, while I hoped it would go the other way, I salute him as my Commander in Chief and pray he is successful in his hopes for a better America.”

Hopeful…because of people like my thoughtful and passionate friend Carina. I don’t react very emotionally to the results of elections (even though I react emotionally to people’s reactions), so I have a hard time understanding where many of the negative commenters are coming from. But Carina does, and she has great empathy for those who are feeling sad/frustrated/angry this week, even if she disagrees with them politically. She wrote a letter to her conservative friends and it’s wonderful.

Hopeful…because of people like Emily Ley, a Romney supporter who wrote a touching letter to her son, teaching him about respect and love, in spite of differences.

And I believe that is the key: LOVE. I know it might sound cheesy or cliche, but love is transformative. It just is. If you stop and put your love glasses on, you see people differently. And, as a result, you treat them differently. And while love may not make things perfect, it does make things better. I believe John Lennon was right: all you need is love.

No matter what side of the political spectrum you are on, we all have the same goal, to make our world a better place. We may have different means to reach that end, and that’s okay. That’s the beauty of our country. We all have the liberty to believe what we want to believe. For example, I am not libertarian and my friend Dennis is. We don’t agree, but I seriously love it when he comments on my Facebook posts. He’s thoughtful about his beliefs and I completely respect him, even if I interpret things differently.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “I have decided to stick to love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

I’m going to stick to love, too. Let’s love each other, in spite of our differences. In fact, let’s love each other because of our differences. It’s hard sometimes, but I have great hope that we can do it. And, when we do, we’ll be that much closer making our world the better place we are all striving for.


  1. 1

    What a wonderful post and reminder, Jane! How much better would we all be if we reacted with love as our primary emotion rather than anything else. It could change the world.

    • Jane Maynard

      as my 7 year old wisely pointed out, it isn’t always easy…but truly, if we could all use it as our primary emotion it would be amazing.

  2. 2
    Natalee Maynes

    Spot on Jane!

  3. 3

    If someone thinks that love and peace is a cliche that must have been left behind in the Sixties, that’s his problem. Love and peace are eternal.
    – John Lennon

  4. 4
    Jenny Dill

    I love you! Thanks for putting it so perfectly and for giving me a one of a kind idea for my English Paper. 🙂

    • Jane Maynard

      love you too, jenny! (and you’re whole family for that matter, including that new sweet husband of yours!)

      and glad I could be inspiration for English 🙂

  5. 5
    Lisa Lewis

    Lovely. Thank you.

  6. 6
    Katja Shockey

    Very thoughtful and well written, thank you for being so honest, generous (with your love) and kind.

  7. 7
    Stephanie P.

    Couldn’t agree more.

    And I DO have an emotional response to elections these days because my healthcare situation has forced me to change my political views drastically. (I will just say that when you are young and sick it’s terrifying not just for yourself, but your entire family. “Obamacare” would’ve changed my life had it been available when I had graduated college, I wish more people would accept it.)

    I’ve never experienced a time where so many seem so full of hate and negativity. I am in a completely negative situation and must find the light every day or there would be no point in getting out of bed. It’s hard for me to see people take so much for granted. I purchased my middle sis a SodaStream last week, it broke my heart to see negative comments on the sale site b/c their stupid machines(well, OK, I like them!) were late b/c the warehouse flooded due to Sandy–do people not have empathy anymore?
    Many people no longer have HOMES and your sodastream is 3 days late so you give a negative review, classy.

    I think the only *good* part of being so ill is I no longer have any use for selfishness. If I can feed my family food that is good for them and tastes great, I show them my appreciation for the care they give me. If I can bake 5 pies and a few dozen cookies so people at the Salvation Army can have the Thanksgiving Dinner everyone deserves, I’m happy to do it, even if it exhausts me. It takes so little to make a difference, I wish it wouldn’t take a hurricane to make people see that.

    Great post.

    • Jane Maynard

      stephanie, thank you for your comment – lovely and I really appreciate it. you are an inspiration!

  8. 8
    Kim from PA


    I am 100% with you on feeling sad for Hurricane Sandy victims who are truly suffering and help isn’t coming fast enough. They are cold, hungry, without electricity, & feel forgotten. They need our love and help. I am able to feel sad for them and then take action to help with donations to the Red Cross and donating items they most need at this time. I live 75 miles away from the devastation in NY. We have multiple community organizations whom have set up trucks where we can take our donations. When the truck is full, it is immediately driven to NY and the items are delivered to those who need it. Our community refills the truck as soon as it returns. We will keep doing this until the need is no longer there (I pray that will be soon!)

    As far as the election, I am extremely disappointed and feel just like your friend Carina did in 2004. Right now, I am fearful for our country. We have spent far too much money. I do not live my own life by maxing out credit cards and taking out loan after loan and then just keep spending, spending, spending. No, I am accountable and live within my means which means making tough decisions as to what is actually needed and what would be nice to have. At this moment, I do not see any way America can afford 4 more years with President Obama at the helm. I am baffled as to what people found desirable about the past 4 years”¦”¦no jobs, no growth, dismal 401K’s, and our tax $ being spent like crazy on failed projects”¦”¦.oh, and no budget either. It’s so far from how I live my life.

    I am a nurse. I have tremendous compassion for people in need. Obamacare is extremely unpopular to healthcare providers”¦”¦physicians, clinicians, and hospitals. It will be a mess. The concept is terrific, but there is no way to pay for it and maintain excellent standards of care. All we actually needed was tort reform, portable health insurance that people could take with them from job to job and state to state, and eliminate pre-existing condition denials. That’s what truly was needed. Instead, we have a monstrosity of a law that costs more than we can afford. There are only so many so called rich people who can be taxed extra.

    God, I can go on and on. I have cried for our country each day and do not feel hopeful at all. I have never felt this way in my life. Love doesn’t pay bills. Taking action and turning my sadness into doing something positive that will make a difference like I can do for Hurricane Sandy victims doesn’t apply in this situation. Instead, policies to which I do not agree are being jammed down my throat and I need to take it. That doesn’t feel like love.

    I do love this blog though and find enjoyment in reading it each week and posting my menu. Expect my menu to be all comfort food for a while”¦”¦”¦”¦..

    • Jane Maynard

      hi kim!

      it’s not the politics I am taking issue with (in fact, I am purposely NOT stating what side of it all I am falling on!). and, yes, love doesn’t pay bills. my problem this week and what has made me sad is the way people are talking about other people. I am hating the “everyone who voted for obama is stupid” (and worse) type comments. it is completely FINE with me when people disagree on policy, that’s par for the course and, like I said, a good thing – it’s good we all have different approaches because sometimes one side has the better idea, sometimes the other side has the better idea – we all balance one another out.

      I just wish people could discuss the politics in a civil way, without insulting one another. like how you have done here! you simply stated what your fears and issues are, without making it personal or attacking those who see things differently.

      my sadness has nothing to do with the politics or where I fall on the outcome of the election…my sadness is because of the way people are treating each other (in person, on facebook, on twitter). does that make sense? I’ve not only seen it among friends this week…I’ve seen it between family members. it’s so sad to me.

      thank you for commenting – on this post and on so many others!

      and your last line was very clever 😉

  9. 9

    Well said. As someone who was affected by hurricane sandy, you would think that in my state we would be kinder to one another. Come election night, my Facebook was so full of hate and nasty even racist comments. It makes me sad that we live in a world of such hate. I may not agree with a lot of my republican friends have said but I refrain because it is Called maturity and respect. Regardless of the outcome we live in a great country and I for one have hope that things will get better. Seeing destroyed homes and lost families has given me a different perspective on life. People need to be kind to one another despite differences of opinions.

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