By Founders Dr. Habib Sadeghi & Dr. Sherry Sami
Love Button is the nonprofit organization that my beloved wife, Dr. Sherry Sami, and I founded in 2013. What you may not know is that it actually has its roots in my experience with cancer back in 1997. As a young medical student newly diagnosed with cancer, terrified and directionless, I poured my heart out to a dear friend one afternoon who said to me, “Habib, I don’t know about the God that you believe in, but the God I believe in is a loving God.” He also said, “He who hasn’t loved yet hasn’t known God, for God is love.”.
I can’t explain it, but I walked away from that dinner with an indescribable sense of peace that assured me everything would be okay, regardless of my personal outcome. One week later, not long before I was to be wheeled into the operating room, I scribbled the word Love on the palm of my hand as a reminder that the essence of God, the greatest healing power in existence, was always with me.
After graduating medical school, I was thinking back on that whole experience and how just a couple of years earlier, my future seemed so uncertain. Filled with gratitude, I picked up my pen and wrote Love in the margin of a notebook. After coloring it in with red ink, I tore it off the page and turned it into the very first Love Button. I wore it on my lab coat for many years as a daily reminder that healing happens when I choose love. Eventually, patients started asking questions about the Love Button, and it got me thinking. Could having a similar reminder help people make loving choices more often to bring peace and healing into their lives and the lives of others? At the same time, if enough of us were doing it, could we fundamentally heal the communities in which we live, or even the world we share?
At first glance, the world’s problems seem unsolvable. At their core, however, they’re really all the same problem, a lack of love—the inability to see ourselves in another person and reach out with the kind of love that fosters a sense of mutual support, connectedness and interdependence among human beings that’s essential for any society to function in a cohesive way. It made sense to me that the best way to get people to reach out to others with their love was for them to experience an act of loving kindness first. The Love Button they received would be their reminder to pay it forward. Today, these are the thousands of Love Buttons we produce each year to give to patients and use during Love Button community action events.
In the last three years, Love Button has been a thriving grassroots effort supported by a small but passionate band of loyalists working to create collaborative projects with area food banks, foster care agencies, veteran’s assistance programs, hospitalized patients and similar organizations, as well as promotional events of our own. LoveButton.org, our amazing website was designed to bring our mission to a broader audience in a fun and interactive way
Our biggest accomplishment, however, came in February when 75,000 people in Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, CA held up colored placards during the halftime show at Super Bowl 50 to reveal the message, Believe in Love, that filled the stands and incorporated the Love Button logo into its multi-color design. This was all made possible because of Chris Martin, lead singer of Coldplay. In fact, Chris believes so strongly in the Love Button mission that he supplied all 75,000 attendees at the game with their own Love Button. Our gratitude for Chris’ act of love on our behalf simply cannot be expressed in words.
The result of the Super Bowl exposure has been a significant turning point for us. Recognition has greatly increased, and more people want to become involved. To accommodate our higher profile and to put more focus on our worldwide mission, we’ve rebranded the organization as the Love Button Global Movement. Neither Sherry nor I could have imagined all this would happen from a small button I made nearly 20 years ago, and yet it has. We are truly blessed.
Because of this good fortune, the Love Button Global Movement is at an important crossroads. The universe is telling us it’s time to grow, to move to the next level. We have a chance to use our current momentum to evolve from a community-based grassroots effort into a national organization with the right kind of influence to inspire millions of people into loving action.