I am Human. And I don’t need any labels other than that. I don’t need to be defined by my race, by my gender, my sexual orientation, my social class, my religion. I don’t need to be put into a box and told that’s who I can relate to. I don’t need to be called black to hurt when racism occurs. I don’t need to be called gay to grieve when those who are get senselessly murdered. Because I am Human, and when humans attack humans, we all will suffer.
What can be done? What can we do to stop the hate and fear that has invaded our every thought. Every time I open social media it is a new witch hunt. A call to bring people to justice, to teach someone a lesson, to kill those who are killing others. With the best intentions we are ordering people to die.
What can be done?
In my classroom I tell the students, “If you want it to be quiet all YOU have to do is be quiet. When someone says “stop talking” another student will always respond, “you’re talking, you stop!” Loud SHHs are met with louder hushes. If you are quiet, and you do not respond, the rest of the room will follow because there is no one left to talk to.”
Could hate be controlled in this manner?
If I live my life treating others with kindness and love, isn’t that the best I can hope for to combat hate? If I remove myself from the problem, I’ve done all I can do. Well, if we all removed ourselves from the problem, where would the hate go?
I KNOW we do not live in a fantasy land, where peace and rainbows and love will prevail. People will still fight over money, over resources, over power, over the characteristics we deem make people different…but we need to start making a change, and that change has to start somewhere.
So why not YOU? Why not ME?
Let’s not pretend we’re perfect, but let’s try. The next time someone is rude to you, the next time someone just pisses you off. Let it go. Smile, treat them with kindness, communicate your feelings, but don’t retaliate with aggression.
Yes, you can write to your congress representatives. Yes, you can post on social media crying out the next new outrage (like I am). Yes, you can tell the world just how heavy your heart is when tragedy strikes. But don’t forget to do your part of spreading love. It starts at home and with your community and it will spread, because that’s how love works. Just like hate, it can spread faster than a virus.
Call me what you want. Label me if you must. Hate me if you must. But know that when you do, you are hurting yourself. You are hurting the world that your children must grow up in by poisoning the atmosphere. You are perpetuating an epidemic that cannot be stopped by more of the cause. It can only be controlled by one antidote: love.
For me, I will continue to do my part. I will smile and wave at strangers. I will ask my friends how they are doing today and genuinely want to know the answer. I will pay for someone’s meal, I will tell a stranger they look beautiful today. I will spread my love. Because I am Human.
Aren’t we all?