“Oh, we’ve all had enough, and it’s time to rise up in unity. Let’s come together, love one another, cause love can do the healing we know hate can never do.” Those words are the chorus of “Choose Love,” a song written by local singer/songwriter Jill Miller to create something positive.
Jill said, “Our nation feels so divided on everything, whether it’s Covid-19, racial injustice, or politics. Everything feels negative and hopeless. I felt very called to write something positive to encourage us to come together and choose love. We hope this sparks a positive movement in our community, our state, and our nation.” Rachel Barrentine from Nashville joined Jill in composing the song called “Choose Love.”
The song evolved into much more than just a song. It was Jill’s dream for it to become a social movement for our community and beyond. Local Sioux Cityans came together to form a choir for the project, and members of the community are also included in a video that goes along with the song. The video highlights some of the positive things happening in our community. Miller explained that as you watch the video, you very much know this is Siouxland speaking about “Choosing Love” – not just Rachel, Laura, or herself. You will see landmarks and faces we are familiar with and some we may not know. As you watch it, you will be drawn into the reality that if we “Choose Love,” we CAN make a difference.
The City of Sioux City proclaimed the week of August 24th through the 28th as “Choose Love in Siouxland” week. Mayor Bob Scott read a proclamation at the City Council meeting on August 24th. The same day the video was released through social media and YouTube.
The idea around this movement is based on the premise that love is a choice we are all free to make and it always makes a difference. The City Proclamation states. “Love is showing honor to others by placing a high regard on their feelings, wishes, rights and traditions. Love chooses to believe the best in others and celebrates our differences through kindness and compassion. Loving others means respectfully agreeing to disagree, being willing to forgive, listen, and be considerate towards others.”
Choose Love week included a focal point for each day of the week encouraging people to show love to their neighbors, teammates, business associates and strangers. When asked what acts of kindness she heard about as a result of the movement, Jill shared the most touching was a story of a woman on a fixed budget who bought formula for a mom who she knew needed it. “It was a present-day depiction of the widow’s might” Jill said, referring to the Biblical story of sacrificial giving for others. She also relayed stories of people buying lunch for strangers, and businesses treating employees to lunch.
Other cities reached out with interest in replicating the idea when the video was released. Jill has been encouraged to pursue making “Choose Love Day” a national event. One thing for certain is Jill intends to make Choose Love Week an annual event in Siouxland. “I hope that as we repeat it and remind one another, it will grow” she said.
Love is what is needed to heal our communities and our nation, one act of love at a time. Jill acknowledged, “I know it takes more than love to heal the issues in our country. But if we come to the table with a heart of love instead of division, we can start the healing process.”
Watch the Choose Love video at www.chooseconference.com/choose-love
“. . . Cause love can do the healing, we know hate can never do. Let’s come together. Love one another.” Lyrics of “Choose Love”