Those that would seek to divide
Are able to by
Driving our emotions
Like cattle.

Come back to the quiet within.
Listen, discern, calm
And then choose love.
Again and again and again.

Remember what you truly believe.
Forcing others to toe the line
To your own
Is the same sort
Of coerciveness
That is fueled by power
To be right.

Another’s choice to be
Different is and has to be.
Free will.
We must not allow fear
To manifest
Into control, judgement, and shame.
There is another way.

Discorse and disagreement
Can exist with love.
Togetherness can exist despite
The desire to fight.
I’m not saying they’re right,
But if you become that which you claim
To despise, or fear
You are not listening
To your own self being manipulated
By your own voice, or theirs,
Into choosing violence, judgement, and shame
Don’t you see?
It’s more of the same.

Choosing love as your compass
Means choosing it
Even when it seems
Do not forget,
Love is always stronger,
Fiercer, and more healing
Than Hate.
Love defeats hate every time.
Love mends the rift and the divide.
Love disarms the armament.
Arm yourself with love
And defeat fear.

Angel Marie Russell

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“La Jeune Fille a la Fleur,” by Marc Riboud, shows Jane Rose Kasmir planting a flower on the bayonets of guards at the Pentagon during a protest against the Vietnam War on October 21, 1967.