Whatever meaning 'Annie's Song' had for me on a personal level, there was also a larger context. It could just as easily have been about love for a brother. Or a father. Or a friend. It could just as easily have been a prayer.
When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it - always.
When I say I love Eastland, it sounds preposterous--a man who brutalizes people. But *you* love him or you wouldn't be here. You're going to Mississippi to create social change--and you love Eastland in your desire to create conditions which will redeem his children. Loving your enemy is manifest in putting your arms not around the man but around the social situation, to take power from those who misuse it--at which point they can become human too.
When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.
You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. you yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.