So from half a world away, I read about the events that happened at Pulse. A place I have spent nights dancing at with friends. I am waiting. I am waiting to see who is among the people who lost theirs lives because they wanted to go out and have a little fun. Maybe I know them, maybe I don’t. But that is not the point. At this point, I don’t want to talk about Christians, Muslims, guns, terrorism, or any of that. Because in all honesty, this isn’t the solution to the problem plaguing the whole planet right now.
I want to talk about intolerance. This is the root of our problem. People, in general, are so scared, intimidated, and intolerant of anything that different from themselves. We don’t talk about our differences nearly enough in order to gain knowledge and understanding. People belittle, hate, and fear far too easily. The back and forth I see on social media is driving me mad. I don’t care what anyone says about my feelings on gun control (although I hate guns with a passion and would jump for joy the day that proper guns restrictions are put in place). But we are living in a world that breeds ignorance and bigotry. This isn’t an American problem or a middle east problem or any one place problem. It is a global problem. One way to help counteract this is through education. Educating our children on compassion, love, respect, and a general moral code. That is NOT okay to hate someone you’ve never met. It is not your place to harm others and then escape your responsibility because something was done “in the name of God”. That isn’t our burden. We need to come together and make honest efforts to relate to each other. In the end, we are so much more similar than we are different.
Today is a day that I am so amazingly proud to be an educator. That hopefully, I can reach some of my students and help them be proud to be a member of the human race and how truly beautiful that can be if we worked together to build peace, instead of slaughtering people in cold blood because of how they choose to live their lives. That through education and battling ignorance, we may help to make improvements to a world that is screaming for help.
These men and women were not hurting anyone. They are truly innocent bystanders that lost their lives in one of the most horrific ways imaginable. But they are our brothers and sisters. They are our family. Not someone’s family, but our own. Changes to that ideology need to be made at such a basic level. We are one people and the world is in a civil war against each other. We need to lay down our weapons, lay down our hateful rhetoric, abandon our fear, and work together. There are such generally good, peaceful, beautiful human beings in the world. There are also monsters. This is in every place on Earth. We can cower in fear, ignorance, and hatred and allow this to continue by reacting to this with more violence, or we can do our part to make the world a safer place.
I, for one, refuse to stop living my life and trying to meet the truly amazing people that inhabit my home, planet Earth, because of these actions. I refuse to hate someone I have never met and hasn’t cause any harm. I refuse to name call and belittle people based solely on their beliefs. I refuse to live in fear. I will get up every day and smile at strangers, tell them I hope they have a great day, and help people in any way that I possibly can.
People are now screaming for more laws, more regulations, and more restrictions. On some of these points, I agree. But this in reality is merely a bandaid to our bigger problem. Fear, hatred, violence, every negative -ism on the face of the planet. Wake up and realize that in order to really make a dent in this problem, we need to be brave, compassionate, open-minded, tolerant of differences, and actively seeking peace in our lives.
I am still waiting on this list. From half a world away, with eyes burning, and mind clouded with exhaustion. But I am also so grateful. That I can see, now more than ever, how precious every life is, and that I will get the chance to see my loved ones in a few weeks and hold them close to me once more. I suggest everyone do the same. Let go of past grudges that are only there for the sake of your pride and ego. Let’s push out more love into the world and see what happens.
Peace, Love, and Light