Humans' Core Function Is Love
Humans' Core Function Is Love

adrienne maree brown is a women's rights activist and black feminist based in Detroit

When we are engaged in acts of love, we humans are at our best and most resilient. The love in romance that makes us want to be better people, the love of children that makes us change our whole lives to meet their needs, the love of family that makes us drop everything to take care of them, the love of community that makes us work tirelessly with broken hearts.

Perhaps humans’ core function is love. Love leads us to observe in a much deeper way than any other emotion....

If love were the central practice of a new generation of organizers and spiritual leaders, it would have a massive impact… If the goal was to increase the love, rather than winning or dominating a constant opponent, I think we could actually imagine liberation from constant oppression. We would suddenly be seeing everything we do, everyone we meet, not through the tactical eyes of war, but through eyes of love.

We would see that there’s no such thing as a blank canvas, an empty land or a new idea — but everywhere there is complex, ancient, fertile ground full of potential....

We would understand that the strength of our movement is in the strength of our relationships, which could only be measured by their depth. Scaling up would mean going deeper, being more vulnerable and more empathetic....

(The following addition from the Rev. Sarah Gibbs Millspaugh is a way to turn this reading into a chalice lighting:) "Each of us, by our work here, contributes to a movement of love. May love hold and heal those who need to be held and healed. May love guide more and more people, every day. We light our chalice this morning, knowing that we are blessed to be in the business of growing love. May our work together bless the world."

(From Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds, pp. 9-10.

About the Author

  • adrienne maree brown, the Co-Editor of Octavia's Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements, is a social justice facilitator, healer, doula and pleasure activist living in Detroit. She is a student of emergence, somatics, transformation and science fiction. She is part...

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