*This writing was originally posted a while back. In light of the tragic event that took place in El Paso, Texas today – August 3, 2019 – I feel that this piece is relevant and appropriate to share once again. It is a reminder that we should not need reminding of, but one that we have proven that we need to remember.
In light of many events, one cannot help but notice a change that has come over us – us the human race; on a smaller scale, us, the inhabitants of the United States. This change that I speak of is not just about global affairs or domestic affairs – it is that of our human spirit. This spirit is certainly a reflection of events of the past and current times that we live in. We are a humane collection of beings and that will never change. Ultimately, good shall outlive evil. In the final analysis, we will continue on our path of freedom and opportunity – a symbol of hope. However, we must continually remind ourselves of what it takes to reach these goals. As one watches the news, it seems that we are in a period of roiling turmoil where the ideals that lead us to that goal are being drowned out by harsh and angry words. We must look towards our inner compassion and remember who we are and what kind of world we want to live in.
While there is certainly no argument to be made that we have lost our humanity, we have allowed our more hardened sides to be some of the more visible sides that are portrayed to the public via the news. Every day, there are just as many – if not more – uplifting stories that play out day to day on every scale in this country – whether they be broadcast to the public or private eye. Yet, what we allow to dominate the headlines is our anger – whether it be political anger, ignorant hatred or a tragic event fueled by these two forces of evil. Thus, our reactions become fueled by a fountain of negativity rather than a ray of hope. Why? We are better than this. We know better than this – we are good people at our core as demonstrated by countless acts of humanity every day. A while back, I wrote a little bit about humanity in regards to an event shrouded in darkness. The words are still relevant now. Whether we are living in a time of positivity or in a time where the sun seemingly is lost behind the clouds, let us always remember these lessons.
“Anger. Who instilled this bitterness, this hatred in us? Who allowed this disease to fester within us? We can do better than what this evil force commands. We are humans. We are better than this. We have been born into an imperfect world where reality is often cruel and enigmatic. This world can also be one where the where the crisp blue sky and sun warm us a little deeper when filled with humanity and our love – it all depends which side we choose to listen to and believe in.
As humans, we have often had a contradictory paradox. Throughout human civilization, we have been the source of many dark moments. What has kept us going are our times of humanity – of love and compassion. In our hours of darkness, let’s not give in to the same hatred that has led to events such as these, as imperfect as we are with fleeting moments of darkness at times. Instead, let us take the road of humanity. Let us open our hearts and let our true selves show – the spirit of the human being that believes in the light that follows the darkness, the spirit that is full of compassion and love. We should not be a hateful and spiteful people by nature; rather, we should be a loving and caring people – that is how we move forward. That is how we survive.
As a race – the human race – we are better than what we have become, or at least what we have allowed to become the face of who we are. The vast majority of us are kind and loving people. We are not the people who make the news. Perhaps if we focused more on our good qualities rather than the qualities of those corrupted by hatred, we would not let hatred become such an instinctive reaction to life’s many situations. Perhaps if we realize the fact that most of us follow that virtue of goodness, than we will realize that we can rise up and defeat the hatred that some in our world feel and act upon. If we lose that battle, we are bearing witness to the end result that will become more frequent to those who follow us in this life – anger, hatred and violence. We must not allow that result to come to pass. We are better than that. As a human race, we have not lost our collective humanity yet, though one can’t be blamed for thinking so by looking at some recent events or the history of human civilization. If you believe in humanity, it will not be lost on you all of the stories of human compassion that go along with these stories of tragedy.
Let us not give in to lawlessness. Let us not give in to hatred. Let us not allow the bitterness of anger to seep into our everyday lives until we become the very force that we believe that we can defeat. We are better than that. Let us keep our open minds and open hearts. Let us keep on believing and acting upon the virtues of love and compassion as we know it is the right way to go.”
How do we, as a country and as a world, bind our wounds and heal ourselves in our darkest of hours? The answer lies within in us – for the answer is us and the love and compassion that we are capable of deep down inside of us. Robert F. Kennedy once said, “Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.” Let us look into the love that exists within our own hearts and let us believe in the power and value of a fellow man. Let us take action and start a positive ripple of hope that will spread over us and defeat oppression. We can co-exist in a world where race does not matter, gender does not matter, status does not matter and orientation does not matter. We are all one and the same on this Earth – a human being. While we will always have our differences, it can never be at the gain of one people and the oppression of the rest. We cannot allow ourselves to be ruled by fear – for our fear is not of the man who is different but of the idea that is unknown.
Let us keep on believing and acting upon the virtues of love and compassion as we know it is the right way to go. It is who we are at the core and what should be truly represented in our affairs, our public image and in our actions. We must recognize and realize our humanity – it is there. We only have to believe it. We are defined by this humanity – not the negativity that we see and react to publicly from day to day. Let our humanity shine through and guide us to the path of hope, freedom and opportunity. We alone have the power to make this world a better place – we always have.