Over the past week, the world has been horribly impacted by unthinkable acts of senseless violence. Whether you have been to these cities or not, whether you know these victims or not, this has impacted everyone. The violence is real. The solution is unclear.
I have had many conversations with different people about their thoughts on the direction the world is going. It is unanimous-- the world is in danger.
The other night I laid awake and was wondering what the future holds for us-- all of us. Where and when will this stop? Why is there so much hate? Where is the compassion?
I am an idealist. I have known this about myself since I could understand what the word idealist meant. I wish for world peace. I wish for more love than hate, more good than evil. Sometimes I see the hard truth that those things are not always possible. This affects me. Although truly, in my heart, I feel like there is way more good than evil in our world, the evil is sometimes so much louder.
As someone who believes in kindness and love and acceptance as much as I believe in anything, I find it hard to love and accept the people that are doing these things. I read horrible comments about what we should do to these people and what these people want to do to us. I want to speak up and say how I feel, but I am unsure what to say.
Truthfully? I can’t understand why there are people in this world that think it is their right to harm another person. I can’t understand why people think they have the right to steal someone’s future, someone’s loved one, someone’s world. I can’t understand how they wake up every day and think their purpose is to murder. I can’t understand how they think they are right. I can’t understand it-- I don’t accept it -- but does this help?
My heart breaks for the refugees that have nothing to do with these extremists. They didn’t choose to be Syrian just like I didn’t choose to be American. Should they be further punished for where they were born? Aren’t they human beings just like me? Don’t they deserve to be safe? I worry that allowing them into our neighborhoods will leave us vulnerable. I worry that our compassion could eventually lead to our country being the next victim of this terrifying violence. I can’t make up my mind on what is right and what is wrong. If we accept them, will we regret it? Am I a hateful person for thinking this way?
I don’t know what the solution is here. I wish I did. I do know we have an obligation to our world. To make it a happier and bright place to be. To love each other and be there as a source of comfort when our neighbors have experienced the unthinkable. I mean that internationally. I mean that locally. I mean that within our own families. This is an opportunity to be the light in a very dark time. To be kind when judgement is lurking on every street.
Instead of turning on each other and criticizing each other’s views and demanding that they are wrong and you are right-- let’s try something else. Hug your family a little tighter. Smile and say hello to a stranger. Open the door for someone. Ask a friend how they are doing and really listen. Pay it forward. Make it your point to be kind today. We may not be able to control everything in our world, but we can control how we treat each other. Obviously I know this isn’t going to solve anything, but maybe-- just maybe--it will help us stay hopeful when the world has seen better days.