I don’t recall a time in my life where hate has been as visible as it is now. So openly exchanged. Perhaps I’m living more aware, more conscious of my surroundings. Either way, there’s a clear disconnect between our legal freedoms (religion, speech, identity, etc) and our expression of humanity.
My friend was recently shown the sign of white supremacy on his way to synagogue last week. Another friend was called a dirty Jew. A black friend was called the n-word. My gay friends called derogatory names by strangers.
What the hell is going on ?!
More importantly, how am I contributing to the problem? And what can I do to be a part of the solution?
My contribution to the problem – I don’t allow others to have their own opinions without judgment. At times, I find myself relegating those whose beliefs, mostly political or religious, differ from my own.
The better option – I could make a conscious effort to listen to the dissenting opinion of others. It is entirely unproductive to dismiss a person because of their views or beliefs. The first step towards peaceful resolution and understanding is acceptance. I find that when people feel heard, they are more likely to reciprocate the gesture. To hear your truth.
When I feel shut-down or shut-out, resentment and anger follow. And it is resentment and anger that fuels violence and aggression. There will never come a time when we, as a whole community, align on every belief. We are a mosaic of cultures and perspectives and no one takes precedence.
So, while I do believe that we need to call-out moments of hatred, bigotry, and injustice when they occur, I also believe that we need to bridge the divide.
This week, approach others with curiosity and empathy. Let’s hear one another out so that we can create connections. And then encourage a greater expression of love and decency. The expectation is not uniformity, but humanity. And it has everything to do with the actions, big and small, we take each day.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love