An Open Letter to American Humanity:
I like to believe that at our core as humans, is compassion. That no matter our differences whether it be race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. we all know how to have compassion for one another. It was proven abundantly just recently with the sentencing of Brock Turner and the outcry of injustice. People all over the country, of all different backgrounds, took to social media in support of the victim. But in the same breadth with the shooting at Pulse in Orlando it seems that the compassion that was shared a week before was canceled out. There wasn’t a national showing of support for the victims this time around. The country seemed divided.
What makes the rape of a woman more heinous than the mass murder of members of the LGBT community? How do we unite as a nation for one cause, but can’t for another?
Wrong is wrong. Period. I don’t care if the injustice is against someone who is white, black, Asian, Latino, straight, gay, transgender, bisexual, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, thin, fat, short, tall, male, female, poor, middle class, upper class, etc. My moral compass has taught me that any act of injustice against anyone is an act of injustice against myself. I “love thy neighbor” as I love myself. My beliefs DO NOT get in the way of knowing how to have compassion for another human being. I may not look like them or live their lifestyle, but that does not make their life any less valuable than my own.
We are all humans.
We all bleed red.
We all strive for a better life for ourselves and our loved ones.
We all want to love and to be loved.
We all want a better future for our children and grandchildren.
We all want equal rights and opportunities.
We all want the chance to live the American dream.
So why is that never the focus? We spend days, months, years, focusing on our differences. Pointing fingers and placing blame. Believing that one group of people is better than the next, and the next, and the next. As if the color of one’s skin, religion, political affiliation, or sexual orientation makes one better or less than another. I know it stems from our history as a country. Decades of injustices committed while Americans turned a blind eye to a system that was built to work against specific groups. I’m not naïve enough to believe that, that history can just be erased. In fact I believe it should remain.
It’s a reminder of what we shouldn’t be allowing to happen any longer.
It’s a reminder of the forward steps we should be striving to take.
It’s a reminder of the conversations that NEED to happen no matter how hard or ugly they can be.
It’s a reminder that we DON’T truly listen to one another.
That as a country, as individual groups, as a people we only hear what we want to hear. We only see what we want to see. We only cry out against an injustice and share our sorrow, but never seek change. If it might affect us as an individual, because less face it Americans are selfish, we don’t want it. We don’t look to be equal. It’s that simple and yet profoundly sad.
Where is the compassion? When did we stop loving thy neighbors as ourselves and wanting the best for other people and start laying down the invisible lines. Sectioning ourselves off. Making it us versus them. When did we let fear of the unknown reign rather than trying to understand one another and the backgrounds we come from. When did we stop listening to those around us with something to say? Something we may never experience, but that is a truth of their lives. When did we start letting the media dictate what is the truth and what is fiction? Instead of utilizing the intelligence and common sense we were given.
This country was labeled a “melting pot” because of the differences that are among us. It’s something I’ve always been proud of. Something I have always embraced wholeheartedly. But now more than ever I’m disheartened. The lack of compassion for others has grown over the years. It’s caused us as human beings to become numb to the suffering of others. To become careless with our words and actions. To no longer, for some Christians, love thy neighbor. We’ve become the worst versions of the human beings we should be. Notice I didn’t say Americans. I said human beings. Because that is the common thread among each and every one of us.
So I implore you to reflect on the America in which we live in today. The injustices that continue to occur to your fellow human beings each and every day.
Ask yourself if your willing to sit by and watch those around you suffer?
Ask yourself if you can continue to turn a blind eye?
Ask yourself if being American means having no compassion?
Ask yourself if it was you how would you want others to respond?
Ask yourself if this is the world in which you want your children and grandchildren to grow up in?
If not than DO SOMETHING. Don’t sit on the sidelines as an injustice occurs in front of you. Voice your concerns. Share your opinions. CHANGE THE RHETORIC. Doing what’s right is NEVER easy, NEVER popular, but ALWAYS important. It reminds those around you that there are human beings in the world who know the difference between right and wrong. That those who are suffering are not alone.
But most importantly show compassion because one day it could be you…