“E.L.E. Everybody Love Everybody!” – Jackie Moon
Anybody want to talk about Michael Brown? How about Darren Wilson? No?
Yeah, I’m not going to do that in depth here. Not specifically, anyway. What I am going to do, however, is talk about some of the things that have caught my attention since this unfortunate event unfolded. This situation, unlike any in recent history that I recall, has served to divide people in ways that I didn’t think possible. In the aftermath of the grand jury’s decision and the unrest that followed, I have seen people call other people animals, barbarians, and generally uncivilized. Verbal attacks on other human beings laced with semi-cloaked bigotry were spewed across my various timelines, and the very worst in people was played out for all to see. People that I have known for years displayed behavior that I thought them incapable of.
What bothers me most that maybe didn’t get to me as much five years ago, is that when things like this happen, I envision the world in which my son will live in the next 10-15 years. How different will his world be? How long will it be before some jerk take the time to teach my son the unfair and awful lesson that people attach meaning and value to the color of skin? Right now, two of his closest friends (unbeknownst to him but apparently and painfully aware to the rest of the world) are considered different from him because of how they look…except, he doesn’t see it. (They don’t see it, either, by the way.) It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances that people either continue to blindly prop up or plainly ignore, neither approach being what any reasonable person would consider productive or progressive.
See, the truth that many choose to ignore is that we are all people. This country will never be comprised of solely people that match up to your skin color, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or otherwise. Sure, it’s easier to identify with people that share common interests. However, this country was built by immigrants and continues to be inhabited by the lineage of those immigrants. That fact won’t change for the foreseeable future. So, as I see it, we have a couple options: Option A: grease that wheel and keep that cycle rolling. Continue to hate and be scared of people that we don’t understand. Or, Option B: try to break down some barriers. Try to show and accept love. Try to take time to understand something that is currently beyond your grasp. (You can probably imagine which option I advocate for.)
Whenever we are confronted with divisive situations we often turn into the crappiest possible versions of ourselves. We fight instead of bridging gaps. We argue instead of engaging in healthy debate. We attack instead of learning. This modus operandi is getting us nowhere.
You don’t have to walk an entire mile in someone else’s shoes to begin to understand them. Just start with a couple steps and work from there.
Have an awesome Tuesday,
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