A few years ago, I shared a disappointing experience I had in a parking lot.

I was looking for a spot in a crowded lot. A woman illegally parked in front of me waved for me to go around her, but the cars were packed so tightly that I couldn’t get by. I politely gestured that there wasn’t room, and I waited. She continued to wave for me to go around her, and I continued to stay put – opting for patience over risking scraping the Mercedes parked just inches away. Finally, the woman backed her car up enough to allow me to carefully pass her. When our cars were next to each other, she looked straight at me and screamed a profanity into my face.

Her words hit me hard – never had I felt so unfairly characterized by a complete stranger.

Unfortunately, stories like these are not uncommon in our turbulent social and political climate. Our words have become faster, louder, harsher. Sometimes, it feels we no longer see the person behind the mask.

We have to change the way we treat our fellow humans. Hate paired with hate never bears love. We need to start truly seeing each other again, listening to each other, saying, “YOU MATTER,” with every action we take.

This pandemic has torn us apart, and it is up to us to come back together.

The ‘dark days’ are coming to an end, so let’s begin a renaissance of love!

You may not be able to choose how you feel, but you can always choose how you respond. There are opportunities for love in every single interaction we have. Look for them. Take them. When you want to tell someone they matter to you, tell them.

Words matter.

You Matter.

Cheryl Rice, Founder

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