I woke up this morning rocked by the news of a shooting at an Orlando nightclub that I read is the biggest mass shooting in US history. Why? Why does this happen? I have a hard time wrapping my brain around certain things, the loss of innocent lives being one of them.
We are all someone’s child. We are all born with a heart, brain, stomach, and insides. We all walk the same Earth. Why does our society, country, and world continue to become so divided? Let’s take a step back and look out at society through the veil of ignorance, would we all look at people around us the same way? (If you haven’t heard of the veil of ignorance Google it along with John Rawls). Would we be more sympathetic? Would we have more compassion?
Why do we cast so much judgment on each other? Doesn’t casting judgement go AGAINST many religions? “Do not judge so that you will not be judged.” What about parenting? Why do we judge so many other parents behind their backs, or sometimes to their faces when most of the people walking the Earth grew up riding in the back of pickups, drinking soda, and playing outside far from home with no parents until sundown and we survived. Isn’t the saying “It takes a village”? Or does that mean, it takes a village unless your village doesn’t agree with your artificially colored fruit snacks you packed in your child’s lunch?
We all know people who love to talk about how great they are. We then tell each other that it must be because they have low self esteem or other problems. Maybe they really just love themselves that much and think they are truly that great. More power to them! Why do we feel the need to sit behind our computers and make hateful comments to them? That makes us just as bad as the bullies at school that I’m sure we are appalled by. How does someone thinking they are awesome make such a difference in your life that it makes you feel the need to be hateful to them? This may seem like small things, but all of this just fuels our divided society in a trickle down effect.
I don’t know about the rest of the world because I don’t live there, but I feel like our country has manifested such a “us vs. them” mentality that people forget WE ARE ALL HUMAN. Republicans and democrats, all humans. Christian, Jewish, Muslim, all humans. Asian, Hispanic, Black, White, all humans. Homeless, Wealthy, all humans. Stay at home parent, working parent, all humans. Gay, Straight, all humans. Do you see the pattern? What is up with this “us vs. them” mentality. Why do we live in so much fear of everything and everyone? A reasonable amount of caution is warranted, but when I watch the news and we are just being pumped full of fear what kind of life are we living at that point? The sad part is that so many people turn that fear into hate. Hate for people they don’t know and hate for things they don’t understand. Hate itself is such a strong word. I severely dislike a lot of things, like egg salad sandwiches, but I wouldn’t use the word hate. As I sit here typing this I am trying to think of something that I feel so strongly about that I would even make me use of the world “hate” and I am hard pressed. I REALLY don’t like that some people are so closed minded that they poison everything around them with their anger, but do I hate them? No, if anything I feel sad for them.
Instead of hiding in our houses, sitting on the computer leaving mean spirited comments, watching the news, stockpiling weapons, teaching hateful things to our children, and waiting for the bad things to happen, why not enjoy this life we get to live? Don’t let the people with hate win. Spread kindness and compassion. Buy the guy behind you coffee, introduce yourself to the lonely looking mom at the park, compliment 10 strangers you see today, smile at the person you run past on the trail, read a book about love to your child. Next time you are on the internet leave a nice comment to someone you enjoy because you never know what is going on in someone else’s life. We all have different jobs, backgrounds, circumstances and beliefs, BUT we all walk the same Earth. If someone only wants to post selfies, great! Give them a “like” otherwise don’t follow along. If someone only wants to post about their religion, great! Give them a “like” otherwise don’t follow along. If someone only wants to post sponsored content, great! Give them a “like” otherwise don’t follow along. That is the best part about the internet, it is free and you don’t have to read what you don’t want to. If you don’t like this post I have some awesome news for you, you didn’t have to pay for it and you can move on with your life.
Spread the love. Have compassion. Be tolerant. Don’t let fear, terror, and hate win. Don’t let all the innocent lives lost be in vain.