Quotes from Valarie

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On Revolutionary Love

Revolutionary love is a well-spring of care, an awakening to the inherent dignity and beauty of others and the earth, a quieting of the ego, a way of moving through the world in relationship, asking: ‘What is your story? What is at stake? What is my part in your flourishing?’ Loving others, even our opponents, in this way has the power to sustain political, social and moral transformation. This is how love changes the world.”

“Love calls us to look upon the faces of those different from us as brothers and sisters. Love calls us to weep when their bodies are outcast, broken or destroyed. Love calls us to speak even when our voice trembles, stand even when hate spins out of control, and stay even when the blood is fresh on the ground. Love makes us brave. The world needs your love: the only social, political and moral force that can dismantle injustice to remake the world around us – and within us.”

“To pursue a life of revolutionary love is to walk boldly into the hot winds of the world with a saint’s eyes and a warrior’s heart – and pour our body, breath, and blood into others.”


Forgiveness

“Forgiveness is not forgetting. Forgiveness is freedom from hate.”

“We can no longer divide the world into victims and aggressors; we must remake the institutions and cultures that diminish and divide us.”

“Your greatest test is whether you can still see the humanity of the people who disagree with you and people who hurt you. For when you are hurt, you will want to hate. But when you hate the ones who hurt you, you become the darkness that haunts your dreams. Love shines a light; love returns us to the path; love makes us brave.”


Courage

“’Tati vao na lagi, par brahm sharnai.’ The hot winds cannot touch you when you walk the path of love and justice. Even if you are beaten down. Even under a rain of fire. Even if you are bleeding – in the birthing room or on the battlefield – the hot winds cannot touch you. Because you are with the holy, and of the holy. You are with God, and of God. You are with love, and of love. And that kind of love saves us all.”

“There are no bystanders. In this time of astonishing moral crisis, silence is complicity. Because in the palm of our hand we have the ability to respond – to speak, to post, to organize, to act, online and on the ground, and in the voting booth. Speak, even if your voice trembles.”

“Courage is only possible in community. When you find yourself afraid  and you don’t know if you can survive it: Close your eyes and breathe and remember the one who loves you. Love will make you brave.”

“We pray to remember God (simran) but we serve to realize God (seva). That’s why we are called to serve matters not with anger or despair but with joy and boundless optimism – the Sikh spirit of Chardi Kala.”


 Stories

“We are trapped by stereotypes – Black as criminal, Latino as illegal, Muslim and Sikh as terrorist, indigenous as savage, trans as deviant, and women as property. Once a person is reduced to a stereotype, it becomes easier to rape them, imprison them, and kill them. But stories can destroy stereotypes. Our stories can set us free.”

“Stories can save us. Stories enable us to see others as worthy of love, and therefore worth fighting for. Everyone has a story. Which story have you yet to tell? Whose story have you yet to hear?”


Calling

“The passion to change the world flickers in you like a flame, and if you let that light go out, you will be robbing the world of your greatest gift. Your task today is not to know what the future holds; your task is to vow to protect that flame.”

“You are meant for more than a life of comfort. You are meant for a life of meaning. Staying within the walls that others build for you may make you feel safe, but its emptiness will breed despair. In the meantime, the fires of life will never stop calling for you.”

“Your calling is when your passion meets the world’s needs. But you don’t hear your calling behind thick walls. You need to go to the places where the world needs you – the places of pain and neglect. But do not go to save the people you find there. Go to be saved by them. For in those places, you will find your greatest teachers on life and love and courage.”


Wellness

“The way we make change is just as important as the change we make.”

“Read. Think. Dream. Speak. Do not let others colonize your moral imagination.”

“Seek harmony, not balance. Do not cut your life into pieces and measure their worth on a scale. Instead gauge your success by how well you have loved. Let your life sing. Join your song to the Great Symphony that has played long before your birth and will go on sounding after your death.”