Tuesday Thoughts: What if…We Loved A Little More?

By the time this post is published, 10 days will have passed since the massacre in Orlando’s Pulse Nightclub. By that time, the majority of the people will not be thinking about the 49 people who were shot and killed. By that time, the news cycle will be on to the next big topic, only occasionally sharing new developments in the Orlando investigation.

We live in a weird world.

As I sit here with my coffee thinking about how quickly we move on, I wonder how much of an impact it would make if we really stopped to think about this most recent massacre and the countless that have come before it. Off the top of my head, I can think of several: Aurora, Columbine, Paris. The list goes on and on.

What drives people to callously take the life of another? How deep does a person’s hatred have to go where he or she thinks it’s okay to pick up a weapon and murder someone’s son or daughter? It’s mind-boggling and so hard to comprehend. Yet, if I really take a hard look at it. It’s not so far-fetched after all. All we have to do is look at social media or the comments section of news articles to see hatred running rampant. We live in a world where anyone believes that their OPINION MUST BE HEARD. Really? What happened to: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?

 

Jimmy Kimmel does a whole series where celebrities read mean tweets written about them. It’s funny-ish…sometimes. But then the people who were mean originally, get hundreds of thousands of tweets directed at them, full of hate speech. Really? You’re going to threaten someone’s life because he said that your favorite celebrity’s nose is too big? That’s who we are?

 

So, as I sit here thinking about the Orlando massacre and the hatred that is so prevalent in our daily lives, I wonder if we could all just take a step back. I wonder if we could look around and see that we are all different. We come from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. We have different lifestyles. We have different perspectives on different issues. And honestly…

That’s OK!!

It’s these different views that have encouraged discourse for the entire existence of mankind. It’s how we make progress. It’s how we are able to look at issues critically and determine what is the best solution. But, there comes a point where discourse turns into shouting of opinion. It’s a lot of talking and not a lot of listening. It’s how we end up with a two-party system where grown adults just shout their views and dig in their heels. How is that progress?

What would happen if we approached our differences with love? What if we could say to our neighbor, “Hey. I wouldn’t do things that way, and I may not necessarily agree with your views, BUT I still believe that you have dignity. I still can love you as a human.” In return that neighbor could say, “Hey! Ditto!” Wouldn’t that lead to discussions that are intellectually stimulating and potentially productive? Wouldn’t it be nice if those discussions didn’t lead to murder and hate speech and really shitty Facebook posts?

Frankly. I’m sick of hearing about massacres. I’m sick of thinking about where’s next? I’m sick of a 24-hour news cycle that shows the faces of people who were murdered. I’m more interested in stories where two people saw past their differences and were able to live in harmony. Agree to disagree. I don’t care. Just love.

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