"Learning to love is a task for a lifetime. We get to spend our whole lives learning to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and learning to love our neighbors as ourselves."
That quote is from an article in the Huffington Post by Linda Robertson titled While Your Child Is Still Alive: A Letter to Parents Who Aren't Ready to March in the Pride Parade.
I'm linking to it here not to persuade you of her position but because it's an excellent example of powerful persuasive writing.
The very first sentence sets up the contrasts she'll use throughout the piece: I was once one of these parents, now I am not.
Then she gets to the heart of her piece, right there in the second paragraph: it's a luxury to have something to complain about. The very simplicity of that statement makes it powerful. And it applies to many more situations than her piece covers. That's what makes this essay work so well: it's about more than what she's writing about.
In the next paragraphs, she unfolds her story, making the point that she was once this, and now is not.
And then the glorious call and response rhythm of the eleven paragraphs that start "while your child is still alive." No one reading that could fail to imagine the unspoken, implicit message: your child could not be alive.
This essay is powerful because it makes the reader do the work. She lets us imagine ourselves in her shoes, and think about how we would feel.
I found myself cutting and pasting sentence after sentence into the list I keep of things I want to remember. The first two were the sentences I started this blog post with.
Did this piece resonate with you too?