This morning I woke up to the devastating news of the largest mass shooting in the U.S., to date. I don’t want to go into a rant about my beliefs on guns in this country. When we, as a country, fail to take drastic action when small children are killed at school, I hold no hope that this event will turn the tides. I would love to be proven wrong, though. I also don’t want to singularly address any specific communities or religious sects, the mass media is doing enough of that. Something much larger surfaced for me upon hearing the tragic news of the shooting at the Orlando nightclub.
How do we come together as a society? How do we peacefully coexist as humans with different beliefs, religions, political viewpoints, etc.? Have we become too entitled and self-righteous about our own stances to keep humanity at the forefront of all we do? Has violence become the norm that we are now numb to it and able to simply shrug it off as one more tragedy?
Who we love, the ways we choose to worship, who we vote for, the colors of our skin, the languages we speak do not make us good or bad people. Using any of those things to justify actions of cruelty is inhumane. What is ultimately important is how we treat others, especially those we do not agree with. What is important is that we love people for who they are and allow their authentic voices to be heard, because that is when the best in people comes out, which is ultimately what is best for our individual communities, and our society as a whole. Taking away people’s rights and silencing their voices only breeds hate, fear, and anger. We have got to do better as a society.