There is a universal love throughout humankind that we must not ignore or forget. This year, more
than the past 51, reminds me that the ultimate gifts will not be under a tree with fancy bows; it will be
the love that makes the world. And a particular love is unique to those people that have special
meaning in our lives: family, friends, and those of you reading this article.

I look at the love of my life and even though there are days we are overwhelmed by the madness of
our chaotic lives - the ups, the painful downs - there is still love. My children, mother, father, brother
and sister all have shortcomings, but we embrace love first, not last

There are many other people I have fallen in love with along the road of life. Since love feels like a
warm blanket on a cold night, I feel a need to share this warmth. When I see people that are cold, I
want to cover them so they can feel safe, secure, and confident. Everyday I look around and I find
people I can love. They come from many walks of life and many races, cultures. I am not ashamed of
saying it out loud. I love a Jew as much as a Palestinian, a black as much as a white, brown, Latino,
native-indigenous, Asian, Arab, and Indian, as much as any person on earth.

I gaze into the mirror asking myself, “Can you love a terrorist? Can you love those that kill the
innocent people of the world?” I cannot love the act of killing. I cannot pretend there is ever a
justification in the bombing or killing by the rich or poor. I believe we should all place love before hate.
In my heart I know that Marin Luther King was right when he said,
“In the final analysis, love is not this sentimental something that we talk about. It’s not merely an
emotional something. Love is creative, understanding goodwill for all men. It is the refusal to defeat
any individual. When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power, you seek only to
defeat evil systems. Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love, but you seek to
defeat the system.”

So as I reflect on these famous words my thoughts beg the question, “Can I love the American
President and his men who bomb the poorest people of the world?” I know that the answer is yes
because they are caught up in an evil system and there is good in them. And I understand that the
innocent who die from their bombs, the collateral damage, are people they love.

On the other hand, the people that live in Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Korea, and around the world are
people we should all love as well. Their names may be Hussein, Bin Laden, Ayatollah Ali, Jong, and
may sound different from Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Powell, but they all belong to the same
system of evil. Whatever either side says, they cannot convince me to hate the other. All these men
cannot force me into their evil ways. I refuse to accept their image of a world filled with hate and
killing. I do not believe that I live alone in the world where love is the dominant view.

I believe that throughout human history it is universal love that has kept us from utter destruction,
annihilation and extermination. Love is the ultimate gift that will keep us strong, vibrant and resilient
through the New Year and the ages to come.

-Robert Bracamontes
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Love & Terrorism