For reverend, author, speaker, and podcast host, Dr. Jacqui Lewis, it all begins and ends with love. Not romantic love, but fierce love. Love that is long-lasting and unconditional.
"Fierce love is not only that, it is ferocious courage and rule breaking kindness," Dr. Lewis told Tafties during Morning Meeting. "Fierce love is why Martin King went to Memphis when he knew that his life had been threatened. Fierce love is the love that can heal the world."
That fierce love, Dr. Lewis notes, starts with each individual, deep inside; with each individual learning to love themselves.
"You are a child of the universe," Dr. Lewis said. "There is divine energy in you. There is purpose in you and power in you. Goodness in you. And the world needs you to let it loose and to love yourself. You are worthy of love because you are love. You are light in a body. You've got to love yourself so you can love the world."
And when you do, you can begin to make change, through "risky talk, bold words, bravery." By carefronting—confronting things that make you uncomfortable with love.
"I want you to join the movement of love and justice that is at work around the country," Dr. Lewis concluded. "I want you to believe that love is the most powerful force in the universe and it is the only thing—the only force—that is stronger than hate. It is stronger than bigotry. It is stronger than sexism. It is stronger than racism and xenophobia. It is stronger than anti-Semitism and anti-Islamic sentiment. Love is stronger than war. Love is the only thing that will heal our nation and our globe."
Watch Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis's full Morning Meeting talk below.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated just before Jacqui Lewis turned nine. She was both traumatized and catalyzed to work against racism and poverty in America. In the corporate world, she learned how to inspire leaders to lead. At the Princeton Theological Seminary, she learned about preaching and urban ministry. Dr. Lewis went on to earn a M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in Psychology. Owing to Dr. King, she says, she wrote her dissertation on how leaders grow multi-ethnic communities that can combat racism and poverty. Today, Dr. Lewis is an author, podcast host, and speaker. She also leads workshops focused on doing the work of dismantling racism by understanding the history of racism in America, and providing the tools required to write a new story.