Forgive the pun, but at heart romance is the celebration of life. What else could it be but the embrace of something other than the self—something more powerful than the self—that brings strangers together from diverse backgrounds, demands acceptance, patience and empathy, and then a chosen commitment to each other and the future? True love is the most powerful known bond and motivator. It is stronger than fear, which cripples, and it alone can soften hate and misunderstanding; often indirectly but nonetheless powerfully.
We have a job. As members of the romance-writing community, we must inspire. We must show the breadth and depth of conflicts that true love can overcome, and the heights that human beings can achieve while so inspired. We must strive to set the bar higher and higher, reminding each other of what is possible, and of what is good. At the beginning of a new year, especially one with so many question marks, let us remember that in our own way we are sentinels against darkness. We are celebrants of life.
Love is a light we all can—and must—carry.