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Allié: So, See No Stranger, it's a memoir, a manifesto, Revolutionary Love inspires people beyond words. In fact Ani DiFranco was so inspired by this book, by your book that she wrote not only a song but an entire album appropriately titled Revolutionary Love. With so much to take away from your book. What is the one thing, if there could be only one thing, what one thing would you hope that people would take and keep and share?

Valarie: It's in the title -- to See No Stranger. What if as you're walking down the street, you could begin to retrain how your eye sees, so that anyone who is approaching you, you can look at them and say sister, brother, sibling, child, grandparent, my beloved. What would it mean to change how we see so it's no longer us and them, but we're imagining all of us as part of when big beloved family?

So then if you did see someone in harm's way and you saw them as your own daughter, what would you do differently? You wouldn't have to think about doing the right thing because it would come from your heart, you have already trained your eye to see no stranger, to see through the eyes of love. It's the ancient truth, you know, I'm declaring Revolutionary Love as this new declaration of our times. But really, you know, love is our birthright. I'm just recovering the wisdom that is already buried inside of us for thousands of years. We've heard this call to love without limit on the lips of spiritual teachers, movement leaders, indigenous healers, our scriptures, our songs, our stories.

“Can we structure our society around the concept that every single person has dignity?”

This is our next great transition -- can we take the call to love that we have heard, that we know is right in our hearts and actually practice it on a scale we never have before? Can we structure our society around the concept that every single person has dignity? Can we build beloved community in every school, in every house, in every street corner? Is it possible? It must be because it's the only way we will not perish. It's the only way humanity itself will survive is to take this ethic of love and actualize it.

Allié: Not sure when you find time to sleep, Valarie. In addition to producing films and publishing books, you also created a compass - one in which all directions lead to love. It seems to me an ideal instrument for these days and times when so many are so lost. Please share the concept behind the Revolutionary Love Compass.

Valarie: Before I do that, I sleep because nothing is done alone. I sleep because I'm part of a team and part of a movement, and this compass is certainly an example of that. While I was writing See No Stranger in the rainforest, I was bringing together a set of research scholars to make sure that these 10 core practices that we were identifying were not just infused with ancestral wisdom, but grounded in practical research.

So, from that emerged this idea of like, well if people are asking the question of how do we practice it, I want to put a tool on their hand. So the Revolutionary Love compass brings to life these 10 practices. You can imagine each of these practices as points on this compass. And it's organized in three really simple ways.

You can point the compass to another and the primary practice there is to see no stranger, to practice wonder, wondering about others, to look upon the face of anyone and say you are a part of me I do not yet know. Then to allow that to let that story into your heart, to grieve with them, and in that shared grieving is information for how to fight for them. You are a role for how to fight for them. So the wondering and the grieving and fighting is how we practicing seeing no stranger, how to love others. 18 AWARENOW / THE KIND EDITION