Yesterday was about hate. Today was about Love, Peace and Equality for everyone.
Today, America woke to heart wrenching news out of Orlando, Florida. As the day went on, and the details rolled in, many of us felt the familiar feelings of shame and sadness. Feelings of sadness, of course, for the victims and their families. Shame, because we couldn’t prevent such a tragedy…yet again.
In the wake of these types of tragedies, that seem to be growing ever more prevalent, it is easy to develop a sense of helplessness. It feels like no matter what emotions are stirred after each mass shooting event, we keep finding our country in the grips of tragedy again and again. Over the next couple days, we will undoubtedly hear many political outcries with suggested solutions for how to prevent this in the future. Some will scream, “gun control!” Others will shout, “mental illness awareness!” Still others will spout hateful and insensitive suggestions out of fear. We will all be utterly consumed with the process of trying to understand how this could have possibly happened again. We consume ourselves in investigation in the hopes that if we understand every detail that led up to this tragedy, that somehow that knowledge will unlock the magical solution to future prevention. Maybe it will. Maybe someone will discover something that we haven’t yet. I hope that will be true, but I doubt it. The things that are often missing from the aftermath conversations are tolerance, kindness, and love. In my, very humble, opinion, we need to correct the divisiveness that has gripped our country. We need to stop pointing fingers and placing blame. We need to stop excluding and analyzing our differences. Instead, it’s time to embrace one another as individuals of one human race. We need to care for one another as human beings, without worrying solely about what we personally believe, and how we personally feel about everything. We have many differences and that is what makes us all so special. I believe that if we create a culture of love, that over time, we will see less of these horrific events. Yes, there will always be tragedy, but perhaps we can hope for a future with less of it.
Earlier this week, on “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” President Obama said that, “despite the news…the truth is, if you had to be born at any time in history…you would choose now, because the world is actually healthier, wealthier, better educated, more tolerant, and less violent than it has ever been.” He went on to say that, “for all of the problems we have now, there is a reason to be hopeful. We have challenges, but we can deal with them.” At first glance, it may seem ironic that he said those words only days before the horrors of last night in Orlando, but I don’t see it that way at all. I think his words were true. I see communities, like ours in Oklahoma City, rallying around the victims, and supporting them from afar. I see my American citizens caring deeply about others that they never had a chance to meet. I see the hope that he mentioned in the lights of the vigil candles. What matters is where we go from here. We can choose to create enough love from the pain that it will dampen out the hate.
By Sam Murch
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