“The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of good people.” – Napoleon
About a week ago the United States had over 100 lives changed forever. Orlando, Florida became the location of the largest mass shooting in American history, at a nightclub called Pulse. Pulse is known as a largely homosexual nightclub, and the shooter is said to have struggled with accepting his sexual preferences (a possible cause for his unhinging). I know I told you guys we were going to do a Top 10 posts in honor of the new Be You. Page, but I think this cause is way too large to be ignored.
Lately, the minority of focus has been African American males. It seems like every day there’s another cop shooting of a young African American male that can’t be justified by a simple “fear for one’s life.” I in no way try and belittle those wrongs or make light of those losses, but I think sometimes it’s easy to forget the struggles of others when we have such flagrant misuses of authority occurring so frequently. Last week was a shocking reminder of the prejudice other minority groups are still facing. Being different has become such a threat for American’s today. It almost makes you wonder why people would want to move here in the first place. The United States is supposed to be a melting pot of racial and ethnic acceptance, as well as social, religious, and marital/relational freedom. FREEDOM. That’s what we’re known for. We’re known for allowing people to be exactly who they are without judgment or persecution. But the more time that goes by and the more aware that I become, the more I notice that being different in the United States is almost a death sentence waiting to happen.
It is human nature to not like change and to prefer things that are normative to their group, but the extremes we’ve hit today are inexcusable. When you’re afraid to just be a minority, to just be gay, or black, or in a minority group of any kind then it should be a red flag to everyone in America that we’re doing something wrong. We’re teaching values that are giving way to violence and rigid thinking. We aren’t teaching our children to love and be loved by others, but to judge others that are unlike them, to fear them, and/or verbally and physically abuse them. Violence has become such an easy answer to delaying dealing with emotions we don’t understand. We’ve taught the next generation to take the cowards’ way out, even worse they’re now using guns. There’s no talking in gunplay, there’s no healing from death, there are no take-backs. We’ve given these children, that already lack the proper skills to process his or her emotions and already value prejudice over acceptance, access to guns. We’ve given them the ability to end the life of anyone who doesn’t see their side, agree with his or her way, or choose to live according to his or her standard. We’re failing. We’re failing to teach the next generation what’s important. We’re failing to teach them that’s it’s not about “Keeping up with the Jones’s,” it’s about being exactly who you are and loving yourself. It’s about accepting yourself and being tolerant of others.
These senseless acts of violence are cries for help from people who have lost their way. They are cries for help for entire communities and populations. It’s easy to look at the news and say, “Man, I wish that would change. There’s so much wrong with the world,” but the real change starts at home. The change starts with accepting our children and teaching them to love and accept others. The change begins when we do away with “the norm” and teach that what’s normal is exactly who they wish to be, whenever they wish to be it. The change begins when we are able to see someone different than ourselves and not see disgust or desire aggression, but see beauty and desire love and tolerance. Don’t put this burden off on the next generation, because guess who is now looking to us and paying attention to how we react to adversity and different lifestyle choices? The Next Generation. The next generation sees it all and is paying attention. The next generation sees this hate, judgment, and violence and is likely to imitate what they see if they aren’t taught otherwise. Be responsible for your part. Love all human beings and all life choices. Pass on this love and acceptance to everyone around you. Teach peace and open-mindedness. And most importantly never be afraid to, in your own life, just Be You.