Have you heard it? The song that you find yourself leaning in to to catch every word.
“Where is the love?”
The Black Eyed Peas nailed it.
“Madness is what you demonstrate
And that’s exactly how anger works and operates
Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight
Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love, y’all, y’all
People killin’, people dyin’
Children hurt and you hear them cryin’
Can you practice what you preach?
Or would you turn the other cheek?
Father, Father, Father help us
Send some guidance from above
‘Cause people got me, got me questionin’
Where is the love (Love)”
I had to think hard before I put this song on a cycling playlist for a Race Day experience we had at my fitness studio this morning. Typically you want something to ride to that is fast and non-stop upbeat. But I can’t help but get people focused and thinking and digging for that deeper meaning that exists in their WHY.
I put “Where is the Love?” on our playlist for today’s class to evoke emotion.
And where there is emotion, there is power. And where there is power, we can change the world.
And then, what happened today? The world changed for many people; like it has too many times before. Life flashes before us and in an instant it is different forever. I spent my high school years in Highland, CA, having moved from the wonderfully small, sleepy town of Lafayette, New Jersey where I grew up. Highland, CA is next door to San Bernardino, CA. My mom was a second grade teacher at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, CA for all of our California living until she retired.
Today, that school, North Park Elementary in San Bernardino, CA, was broken as shots rung, lives were lost and life changed. I don’t know the details of what happened, but I know that as I shouted the words to “Where’s the Love?” to my class this morning, telling my friend Don who was working so hard to picture his entire kindergarten class on the top of that hill looking on at him with pride and love and cheering their hearts out for their teacher who was cycling his heart out for them, someone a few towns away from us was taking their emotions in a different direction.
It hurts and I want so badly for everyone to know that they are, that we are, a part of the solution. If we choose to learn how to be strong. When I teach, I want so much for every person who hears me to hear that they are the love. It starts with self-love. Self-love is self-respect, esteem, strength, confidence. Not everyone wants to know that. Sometimes it is easier to be numb to the world around us. But the truth is, we cannot hide. If we have the courage to develop the strength to spread the feelings that self-love evokes – joy, optimism, respect for fellow human beings, then we have to share that.
We have to infect the world around us with the love. We have to be carriers of contagious hope, we have to CARE MORE.
It starts with us. When I asked my class this morning, “Where is the Love?” by adding it to our ride, at a point where emotions have the opportunity to hit home and to move us in a powerful direction, I was reminding them that they are the love. By their actions of showing up and bravely doing what some consider to be “hard work”, when what we are really doing is just a workout done conscientiously and towards a goal much bigger than ourselves and much bigger than most people want to dream, we are the love. And the world needs more of that. More of us. More of you.
My heart pours for those families whose lives have been changed forever today. When a piece of the world around us changes, our world changes too. It is the simple ripple effect. We can do something about that ripple, we can move it in a positive direction. But it will take everyone. It will take showing up, even when it is hard. It will take courage, even when we don’t feel we have any. It will take channeling our emotions into love.