Just Speaking Up

I’m gonna sound like that chick from Mean Girls who “doesn’t even go here” when I say this- especially because it’s a little heavier than my usual- but…Why can’t we just love?

How many times have we been told that evil triumphs because we let it? How many times must we stay silent when hatred consumes those around us? In my haste to speak up, I’m blanking on what song it is, but one line of its lyrics says “the opposite of love is indifference.” Am I saying that when bad people threaten and kill others and cause the destruction of entire cultures that we shouldn’t use military force? No. Am I saying that we SHOULD? No. At this moment in my life, I am not qualified to make that kind of a sound decision. But…

I AM qualified by the sheer fact that I am part of humanity to say that all this hatred, this name-calling, this fear of others because of their race, religion, ethnicity, sex/gender, sexual orientation/gender identity, and so on, all this evil needs to stop!

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For real, though…we are watching city after city get bombed, we face a higher possibility of being the victim of a mass shooting every day and instead of practicing love in our own daily lives in the hopes that this value will grow with future generations, we are criticizing those who mention Brussels, but not Ankara, or Paris, but not Pakistan. We accuse them of being selfish, of merely following the crowd, as if noticing only what is most widely covered by the media is some sort of crime against humanity. I’ve avoided saying anything about Belgium BECAUSE of that- because I’m afraid that mentioning one country and not another will attract anger from someone. I’m walking on eggshells- and that’s TERRIFYING.

It’s as if the hatred that we are hoping to fight is winning, because we are allowing it to seep into our lives in even the smallest of ways.

We should not belittle someone for expressing love and support. We should not judge someone for not knowing the death toll in Iraq off the top of their head. We should not show such negativity in the same way that we should not judge one group of people who share the same race or religion as being evil by default; in the same way that we should not expect all who are one specific race to be criminals; in the same way that we should not prevent a woman from using a public restroom because she does not anatomically match the gender she identifies as.

And despite our political leanings, we should never, and I mean NEVER, support a candidate who uses fear, hate, and violence, to secure votes, regardless of however skillful he may be in business. WE MUST NEVER ALLOW HATRED TO WIN. Opposing this kind of a man for me is NOT a political decision, but a MORAL decision. There are bad presidents, good presidents, decent presidents, but the moment we elect a hateful president is the moment this country has officially said to the rest of the world that we cannot love them.

Humans will be humans. Some will be mean, some will be nice. There will always be saints and sinners. There will be those who identify as both within one life span. There will always be white people, black people, Asian people, tall people, short people, healthy people, unhealthy people. There will also be Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus, Atheists, Agnostics, Pluralists (as my father calls his and my particular beliefs). There will always be humans. My definition of a human: an imperfect person of the homo sapiens species possessing characteristics, including, but not limited to, emotions, thoughts, and opinions generally unique to themselves and the ability to be both right and wrong, sometimes simultaneously.

I am definitely trying to be a little humorous in this post (life is laughter and tears, after all), if that’s even coming across here, but full disclosure…. my heart is breaking…. immensely. I feel and I pray and I cry for every single innocent soul lost across the globe everyday. Those I know of and those I don’t. I pray for those who have found their way into the clutches of evil, who have been convinced that this world needs fixing and that a particular country, culture, or religion is to blame and must be punished. I feel for those who are judged by their peers. I cry for those who are judging.

I was lucky enough to have been raised by a mother (and indirectly a grandmother) who believes with all her being in the power of unconditional love, who does nothing but love, and who cries at anything remotely emotional on TV, in movies, and yes, even during commercials, because of the amount of love in her heart; I recognize now that I need to do this as well. I do not have children, and perhaps I never will, but I can guarantee you that I will always unconditionally love, because it is the VERY LEAST I can do to fix this world and I implore you, I beg you from the bottom of my heart, the depths of my soul, to love as well.

If the least I can do is just to speak up, then I will. Love may not always be the sole answer, but it will always be a part of it. Please show love. Please show compassion. Please care. Every day and in every way possible.

And with that, I’ll sign off for now, go back to my regularly scheduled life, and hope that my time was well spent.

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