I’ve spent much of the past week thinking about how to react to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting. In terms of my upcoming tour, the fact that most of our Better Angels shows will be in synagogues, churches, and a mosque has been particularly worrying to me and my organizers.
But while we are constantly considering how to balance security with openness, we also recognize that there’s only so much we can do to protect ourselves without abandoning the spirit of this project. We want this show to expand the Better Angels movement. We want to introduce new voices into this conversation. We know opening our doors inevitably invites risk.
Therefore, this week I’m sharing a song from our show called “Courage to Be Kind,” written by the phenomenal songwriters Steve Seskin and Crystal Bowersox. Their lyrics were inspired by extraordinary examples of people making the hard choice to show kindness in the face of hatred. These true stories include a synagogue’s reaction to the burning of a mosque in Texas and those of victims’ families after the Charleston church shooting. In both cases, people chose compassion even at great personal cost. For me, this song is a reminder that while reacting to hatred with kindness is often the more difficult choice, it can also be a sign and source of strength.
And while it’s scary, my organizers and I are going to welcome anyone who’s interested to our shows. However, since we’re not going to blast ads from every newspaper and radio, we need your help spreading the word. Please tell your community organizations (e.g., your religious center, your book club, your political group) about this project and Better Angels. Reserve a ticket for yourself and a friend. Help us reach people who are open to listening.
For now, I hope you enjoy Steve’s performance and that you get yourself a FREE ticket to our live show. With the recent addition of our Providence, RI and NYC show, the schedule is finally complete. You can reserve your spot using this link.