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Sonoma County Gazette

What's LOVE got to do with it?

Jul 3, 2020
by Zoë Tummillo, Communications Concepts


Everything! Among the treasures I have held onto for many, many years, is a framed crayon drawing my youngest son created for me very early on. It was the simple, lettered statement: Love Will Keep Us Together. He had no way of knowing how very often I glanced at that frame or how many times (to this day) I considered the wisdom of a little boy still in single digit age.

It really is love that keeps us – in many ways: On track? Confident? Hopeful? In love? In balance? Blindly trusting? ...and, yes, together. The last few years have been ones during which just personally keeping it together (in a number of ways) was a huge chore – quite aside from the particular cause or chaos of the moment. It seems we fell into quite unloving superlatives more often than usual in our observations and quantifications: I have never seen such... It has never been so... This is the first time ever... And so it went.

It was the noticeable absence of “love” in our public communication– from social interactions all the way to politics – that was troubling. I know the hair-splitters can come up with exceptions, so I give you that upfront! But, even you might agree that just when we need love the most in our communities, our public discourse, our governments, our leaders, our allies and our personal lives, too much has been driven by dissension!

Anger is just plain exhausting, but so is Hope when you really work at it. My father was born in 1900 and came to America as an Italian immigrant child. His path and his stories were nothing like mine! But, he never complained, not once, about how it was for him in the new country or how hard it was for his parents. His stories were always about the value of the work and the hardships. He believed you learned more from difficulties than from easy street! Mostly about how to avoid more hardship! That was hope in action, he taught me. We talked about Love as I prepared to leave home and chase the horizon; he believed Love to be the most difficult form of Hope. “Hope” he said, “is not something you sit around with, waiting for something to happen! Hope is something you work with!”

Naysayers like to ridicule the very term “love.” Too squishy to apply to the down-and-dirty business of rough circumstances or politics! Love gets in the way -- not tough enough! (Oh yeah? How’s that working out for you?) Even the fantastic, abused Tina Turner belted out her demand: What’s Love got to do with it?

Everything. That’s all — just everything.Truth be told, almost everything unravels without Love somewhere in the mix. We must bring Love back out of the shadows and underbrush where it’s surely been hiding, waiting for us to regain our balance. Then we have to find a way to take back our country with love enough to govern with integrity, feed the hungry, welcome those folks Emma Lazarus spoke about, kiss, embrace and care for our veterans, comfort our frightened children, care for our frail elderly, cleanse our environment, help the less fortunate than ourselves...

Love. It’s everything! (How’d I do, Seth?)


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