Talk of Love, Not Hate

“Talk of love, not hate. Things to do. It’s getting late. I’ve so little time and I’m only passing through.”

Those are the words of singer-songwriter and poet Leonard Cohen, who passed away on Thursday during this tumultuous week.

My brother Bobby shared his words with me as I sat struggling with what to write this week. Leonard Cohen’s words are perfect—perfect for me, and I hope, perfect for you.

“Talk of love, not hate. Things to do. It’s getting late.”

So little time, and it’s true, we are all just passing through. So, on this day, I’m choosing to follow Leonard Cohen’s words. There is so much we can all do to move humanity forward. There is so much we can all do to be the ones we have been waiting for. There is so much to do.

We are a divided country. Millions feel invisible, left out, forgotten. Millions more are scared, angry, and confused. Millions cheered this election. Millions more are outraged. Yet here we all are.

We have a choice to talk of love or hate. To give up or get things done. To find purpose or to throw in the towel. To scream and yell, or stop and listen. To reach out or close down.

We are indeed all just passing through, but I don’t believe that we aren’t meant to make that time matter. Each of us is meant for a distinct purpose and I believe that purpose is to make our world more caring, more conscious, and, yes, more compassionate.

How can you do that? By seeing yourself as an instrument of peace. By seeing yourself as someone whose light is what the world is looking for. By seeing yourself as an architect of change. By seeing yourself as someone who can move humanity forward.

So, if you’re feeling down, confused, or shaken this week, read the Prayer of Saint Francis (click here). If you’re feeling elated, vindicated, or boastful, read the Prayer of Saint Francis.

May each of us—regardless of what party we belong to or candidate we voted for —think about spreading love, not hate. May each of us think about how to spend our days here making other people’s days better.

And while you’re at it, may you absorb these other words of Leonard Cohen’s: “I greet you from the other side of sorrow and despair. With a love so vast and shattered, it will reach you everywhere.”

Greet someone from the other side. Greet them with a love so vast that it will reach them everywhere. It’s getting late.

That’s what I’m thinking about this week. What about you?

About the Author

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Maria Shriver is a mother of four, a Peabody and Emmy Award-winning journalist and producer, a six-time New York Times best-selling author, and an NBC News Special Anchor covering the shifting roles, emerging power and evolving needs of women in modern life. Since 2009, Shriver has produced a groundbreaking series of Shriver Reports that chronicle and explore seismic shifts in the American culture and society affecting women today. Shriver was California’s First Lady from 2003 to 2010 and, during that time, she spearheaded what became the nation's premier forum for women, The Women's Conference. Shriver's work is driven by her belief that all of us have the ability to be what she calls Architects of Change -- people who see a problem in their own life or the community around them, then step out of their comfort zone and do what it takes to create the solution. Like her page on Facebook or follow her on Instagram.

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