Today, September 21st, is International Peace Day. Yet, the world we live in right now, is anything but peaceful. There is war, and crime, and murder, and hate, and discrimination, and racism, and terrorism, and oppression, and poverty, and climate change. This world is chaos. This world is broken.
No matter what social media outlet I use, no matter what news source I read, there is very little love and positivity. I read these horrifying stories, and my heart hurts. But what is almost worse, is reading the comments that people leave on articles and posts. I find myself reading pages and pages of comments on various posts from climate change, to refugees, to police brutality. While there is some compassionate people, what I am seeing is people so filled with hate and ignorance. I want to believe that if actually talking in person, these people would not actually be like how they appear on social media; but I just don’t know if I can.
What happened to compassion?
What happened to walking a mile in another’s shoes?
What happened to being open-minded?
What happened to being nice?
What happened to listening?
I am 22 years old. I am a female. I am a white female. I recognize the privilege I have had in my life. I recognize how easy my life has been in comparison to so many people on this Earth. I have been so fortunate to have lived a healthy, stable life with my family and friends thus far. But, no matter how fortunate my life has been , I recognize all the hurt around the world; all the oppressed and less fortunate that others have in their lives. I don’t know why we are given the lives we are given, but I do know that no matter our circumstances, we can always learn and listen to each other.
I don’t know what it is like to be a black/brown female living in the United States.
I don’t know what it is like to be a person that identifies as LGBTQ.
I don’t know what it is like to come from an oppressive government.
I don’t know what it is like live with a disease like cancer, HIV, diabetes, and more.
I don’t know what it is like to come from an immigrant family, or be an immigrant myself.
I don’t know what it is like to live in poverty.
I don’t know what it is like to live in a war zone.
I don’t know what it is like to live as a Jewish, or Muslim, or Hindu person.
I don’t know what it is like to be disabled or handicapped.
I don’t know what it is like to not have a home.
I can listen. I can show compassion. I can be open-minded. I can be accepting. I can be loving. I can be friendly. I can use my privilege to advocate. I can learn.
Instead of tearing each other down; of pitting ourselves against each other; why don’t we talk to each other? Instead of spreading hate and ignorance, why don’t we spread love and happiness? Instead of hiding behind social media, why don’t we have personal conversations with each other?
I am tired of all this negativity. I am tired of the hate, of the ignorance, of the divide. It makes me sad, hurt, confused. If people opened up their hearts, maybe the world would be a little more accepting.
If we didn’t fear the unknown and the different, maybe we would all realize that we are all human. We all have such unique stories and experiences that make us, us. If we listen to each other, maybe we would all be a little more understanding. If we learned from other’s- their cultures, their religions, their ethnicities, maybe we would be a little more compassionate and empathetic.
Maybe if we chose to spread more love, the world may feel a little peaceful after all.