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So Much Hatred

Why do we have so much hatred in our country? How have we gotten to this point? I just don’t understand. I can’t talk about the rest of the world because I don’t live there. But, this is my country. Our country. Our home. And, we as its citizens must find a way to combat the hatred that is growing in our home. We, the citizens, must save our country.

Like most descent, moral, kind individuals who live in America, every news broadcast and article regarding mass shootings and terror aimed at innocent individuals makes me sick to my stomach. My heart hurts, and my brain just cannot comprehend the desire to annihilate others.

Don’t get me wrong. There are people whom I despise - those who have hurt innocent individuals, children, animals, and those I love. The white supremacists, rapists, child molesters, abusers, human traffickers, drug lords and gang leaders; these individuals are the scum of our society and come in all colors. Our world would be a better place without the evil they exude. But, would I ever take it upon myself to kill each one, or anyone for that matter, along with an innocent crowd of people around them? No!

How can someone hate an entire race of people? How???

If people believe in God, and I wholeheartedly do, don’t they realize that He created us all? Every skin color, every eye color, every strand of hair, every body shape… He created us all! Shouldn’t our goal be to love one another as His word commands? If people don’t believe in God, do they believe in The Golden Rule? Treat others as you wish to be treated.

We must find a way to stop fueling the hatred that is present in our society. We. Must! Do I have the definitive answer to accomplish this goal? Of course not.

What I do know is that each of us has the ability to make our country just a bit more accepting of everyone who lives here. It’s not difficult to be a kind, caring, helpful entity in our society. But, you have to be courageous enough to not waver under social pressure. Be brave enough to value each and every group and individual who struggles.

The next time your boss, friend, family member, elected official, or stranger makes an unkind joke or racial, religious, sexist, homophobic, hate-filled judgement or slur, don’t laugh. Don’t. Laugh. Laughing just encourages their bad behavior and fuels their urge to keep doing it. Why should you compromise your integrity just to appease their feelings of superiority? As Albert Einstein said, “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who stand by and do nothing.” Do something or say something to make it clear that you do not and will not accept evil.

If you see someone struggling and it’s within your ability to help them in some way, however small it may be, help them. If you see someone being ridiculed or verbally attacked, stand with them. I didn’t say start throwing punches at the abuser. I said stand with the person being attacked. Let the bully know in a calm manner that what they are doing is not okay. Isn’t this what we try to teach our children? We’re not standing up to a bully on a playground. We’re standing up to grown up bullies in our society.

If standing with someone makes you fear for your own safety, then find another way to show your support. Call the police, ask other like-minded bystanders to stand with you. Pull out your cell phone and record the incident. Take photos. Be willing to be a witness. Find a way to stand with the person being attacked. If we don’t, the person being attacked may someday become the attacker, fueled by abuse, isolation, and hatred.

Use your vote. We must demand that our elected leaders make quick and measured strides toward helping individuals with mental health needs. We must make treatment available to all who need it. Why? To help combat their feelings of isolation which may manifest into hatred and the desire to harm others! Am I saying that only people with mental illness commit these crimes? No, I’m definitely not. But, let’s make mental health as much of a priority as cancer, heart disease, etc. If getting people the help they need results in even one less catastrophe, isn’t it worth it?

Our elected leaders must pass laws making it more difficult to purchase guns and must restrict the types of guns that are sold. Let me make this clear. I. Own. Guns. I know how to load and shoot each one. And, not one of my firearms holds more than nine rounds. Why would any civilian need a gun that holds more than nine rounds??? If an intruder breaks into your home, it shouldn’t take more than a bullet or two to keep your family safe. I don’t wish to give up my guns; however, I would do it in a heartbeat if I thought it would end the violence in our beloved country.

Our leaders must promote acceptance of individual differences. We live in America. We live in the melting pot. We live in the greatest country in the world. We must insure that the officials we elect to office, regardless of their political affiliation, feel the same way about our great country and will work tirelessly and diligently to insure the safety of all people that call America home.

And, if any elected official fails to promote acceptance, do not give them a second term. This means you should never check a party box when voting. Is it easier? Yes. Could you be giving a second term to someone who is undeserving? YES! Hold each and every elected official accountable by putting forth the effort to learn about each of them, and make sure that only those who are worthy of a second term actually get your vote.

I know I’ve rambled, and I apologize for not being more focused on a single thought. I also know that many of you will not agree with my thoughts, and that’s okay. In my heart, I know that I’m trying to make things just a bit better for everyone. Everyone. Regardless of their ethnicity, regardless of the societal class, regardless of their skin color or religious affiliation or country of origin, regardless of any disease or disorder that they must contend with, regardless of who they love or what their job may be, regardless of how many children they have, regardless of their intellect, regardless of what kind of home they live in or the type of car they drive. Everyone.

Love and respect one another, and remember, kindness has the power to change the world.

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