I’m only one person. But I *am* a person. As are you. I am the little girl with knobby knees who sat on a Lowcountry dock and dreamed big dreams while I listened to fiddler crabs playing in the pluff mud. I am the woman who witnessed her child’s acute pain when he was ostracized over and over for being different. I am the woman who is exhausted sometimes to the point where I’m on autopilot, a woman who is afraid of all the darkness in the world but who still believes in love and its power to change.
You are the person with your own pain, your own dreams.
We have a very short time on planet Earth to make a difference for the better. Anger plays a role in change, I know. Sometimes it’s a vital component. But it’s never the final one. We air our valid feelings. We each acknowledge that the pain is real, that it’s taken its toll. We say we’re sorry if we had any part in causing it–and we say we are sorry even if we didn’t…because witnessing another’s pain is heart wrenching. We are sorry—truly, deeply–that the world is such a cruel place sometimes. Injustice echoes forever among us unless we embrace those invisible waves of pain, unfold their sharp edges, expose them to the world, and say, “Never again, never ever again.”
After these necessary steps, the healing continues, but we’re now in the space we need and want to be. Evolving! That’s our priority.
But it’s scary because there we have nothing but *trust* to sustain us.
What is trust?
Trust is setting aside our individual stories—which is a very scary, brave thing to do–so that we can create a group story. Trust is seeing the other person’s serious limitations and not hating her for it. Trust is saying to this Other…I want to move forward with you. I am broken, too. But together, we just might learn to walk again in the right direction.
*Together* is the most important word of all. We need each other. Life’s so damned hard. Let’s help each other through it. And while we do it, we see that life can also be…Beautiful.
Trust, caring. Safety. Shared tears. Full bellies. Smiles. Hope. Laughter. There is so much to live for, so much to *fight* for in this short time we have here on Earth.
Right after Christmas in 2015, I attended the funeral of a 17-year-old boy who dreamt of going to Clemson University with his girlfriend, a boy who made everyone happy in the halls of his high school. He was a leader. He was beloved by the jocks, the nerds, the goths, and the everyday, invisible kids who are lonely. The teachers were profoundly affected by him as well. One teacher said that this boy’s encouraging, upbeat mood set the tone for the whole class.
I watched as they slowly, ceremoniously lowered the casket lid on his coffin, his favorite cap in his hands.
Such hope he had…such hope he *gave.*
I will never forget that moment. This young man’s short but amazing life made a difference in this world—a huge difference. And so can we. Every second of every day matters. Every smile, every kind word. Every time you open your heart to the Other in your life, you’re changing the world for the better.
People who read and write romance believe in hope. Hope is trusting in love to work its power to change the world.
So romance readers, writers, bloggers, reviewers, and supporters, let us trust each other. Let’s evolve together. It takes a lot of courage, so much that you might despair that you have that kind of courage, especially in the face of all the complex issues we must tackle. But we all have that courage, deep inside. We want to walk together. We want community. It’s what defines us as human beings.
I can say this without reservation, too, that many romance readers and writers I know want to do the same. We are a community. Many of us long to embrace the Other and be done with that term once and for all. Many of us want to show the world how it’s done.
I am Kieran Kramer. Who are you? What is your pain? What are you afraid of? What makes your heart burst with love? What do you hope for?
Please leave a comment below if you would like to join this discussion. I will happily forward them to Kieran.