In 2015, officials in Paris made the decision to remove hundreds of thousands of locks attached to the Pont des Arts bridge because the sheer weight of them, estimated at 45 tons, was enough to cause serious and permanent damage and was also a hazard to boats passing below. Many were sad to see them go. They were a symbol of love for so many. The tradition was to place a lock symbolizing your love and throw away the key into the river. It was a beautiful, and well-liked tradition by both locals and tourists, but the infrastructure couldn’t take the weight. It just wasn’t strong enough for all that love. I woke up this morning thinking about that bridge. The past few days, I’ve been consumed with sadness at the violent events in our country that have taken precious lives solely because of hate.
We need to lock in our love. I know it sounds pollyanna-ish and if I weren’t saying it, I’d give a hard eye-roll. My practical mind says what we need isn’t love, instead we need civility and acceptance, and public policy that actually support the ideals of this nation. But my heart, in this moment says, we need more love. We need so much love that creates too much weight for the infrastructure of hate to stand. We need so much love that in order to preserve the foundation of who we say we are, we must completely dismantle systemic injustice.
We need this love, not just in times of tragedy, but in everyday life. Lock in on compassion. Lock in on empathy. Lock in on kindness. Lock in on justice. Lock in on peace. And lock in on love.
My heart goes out to all of the victims of senseless violence, those whose names we know and don’t. Collectively, we must rise to the best of our humanity and create an avalanche of love. I can’t bear to fathom the alternative.