Earlier, on the way home from a swim meet, I had a talk with my 17 year old daughter. She was explaining her despair and frustration over nasty girls leading her senior class. These girls are well liked, popular girls who do some really mean things to really good people. Their example is unfortunately one being followed by the weaker minded people of the crowd. The nice girls who are good students and kind human beings are their victims. They go after them fiercely until they do whatever it takes in their power to run them down and make them an outcast. Tonight is their semi dance. It’s her senior year and she is deflated over making the decision to ride the senior party bus. She knows many riders are not her people but some of her friends wanted to be on it. The conflict is, some of her other friends are the victims. We are pulled to the party bus. We want to be with the in crowd, making headlines so we can say we were along for the ride. We want to hold our sign and pose for selfies so we can litter the internet with our powerful smile with the caption “there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.” We talked about the parallel with what is going on in America now. The trade off is falling victim to wanting to be part of something bigger than ourselves because somewhere along the way, we have stopped feeling big enough alone. Innocent people are willing to play the part of pawns in a very dangerous game. We all want to be in a group that makes us feel like a badass. We love the energy generated by the whole power in numbers thing but sometimes, if we are not careful, we take it too far. It is in that shining moment when our ego gorges itself and we feel full and whole again. At least we pretend we do until the next party bus rolls on through and reluctantly, we step on because we’ve mistaken it for home. It is that moment when we’ve never felt more alone. We have to stop looking outward and to other people for a sense of self worth and purpose. We won’t gain it during a protest or a million person march. We certainly won’t find it on any party bus. You are good enough. It’s time to look in the mirror and say, I am enough. We all have a calling. We have gifts that we were given to make this world a better place. You can’t find love or force love. You are love. It is up to you to decide what you do with it. Love and power don’t mix. Love is selfless, it lifts others up and does not judge another as less that oneself. It does not march against but yet towards something greater for everyone. Love listens. Love hears the truth even when it hurts. Love does not force. Love does not purposely harm. Love does not divide. Pride does. My heart aches for my daughter tonight. I know the battle well and I understand how lonely it can feel to stand alone. I also know how awful it feels to dive in to a place head first where you were never meant to fit in. Love does not resist. Love leans in and reaches out. I hope she finds her people tonight. I hope they will recognize each other through the crowd and find some peace. Love seeks peace. Pride seeks fame and self. It’s up to you to understand the difference.