The world and the lives that reside in it are extraordinarily precious. Walking to work on sunny summer days, I regularly marvel at the brightness of the sun, the vivid colors of leaves, the continuous symphony of the birds, the deep blue of the sky… Upon arrival at the restaurant, where I work as a hostess, it never ceases to amaze how kind people are. The smiles, the laughs, the jokes, the stories… People are inherently good. No matter how many times someone states otherwise, I don’t buy it.
When things like these occur, it breaks me. My days feel long, burdensome, and gloomy. In these past few weeks, the Orlando shooting, the murder of two black men by cops, the bombings in Iraq, among others, have left a palpable and unbearable scar in my heart. Much so, that despite my generally optimistic outlook on life, this hate makes me doubt. Why? Why do so many innocent people have to die in such untimely and horrific manners? The most valuable thing they had—their life—was abruptly and cruelly taken away from them. They had not only friends and family, but future plans, feelings, passions, fears. Could you imagine going to a night club to unwind after an arduous week at work or school, only to then get shot? Or having to witness the death of your friend whom only minutes ago was dancing to Daddy Yankee’s Gasolina? Could you imagine having plans with your boyfriend to go on a road trip, to visit a state you’ve never been to, only to watch him die minutes later because of some innocuous taillight incident? Maybe you were both planning on watching your favorite show later that evening, and now he’s dead? I honestly cannot wrap my head around it. Many of us feel like we live in a small bubble, but in reality we are all connected.
Why the hate? Why?
Why the sudden silence? Why?
Why the divisions? Why?
Why not love fiercely?
Why not speak up?
Why not unite and help the victims of hate crimes? Whether they be due to someone’s race, religion, sexual orientation, style, appearance, it is imperative that we all help and reach out to those in the midst of trauma.
Sometimes, I feel powerless and lethargic and have a very difficult time holding back my tears as events like these unfold. I begin to imagine someone murdering one of my many black friends, or Hispanic friends, or gay friends, or anyone that doesn’t fit the imaginary mold imposed by a hateful minority, and not only do I feel confused by the origin of such hate, but I feel unbelievably sad—especially considering the fact that what to me is a terribly frightening thought is a reality to many.
Why? Why? Why? Why is someone’s skin color such a big deal? I really, truly don’t understand. It’s a color! We don’t stop buying certain flowers because, say, red roses are inferior to white ones. We don’t stop acquiring Black Labradors because they are somehow less intelligent or less worthy than Golden Retrievers. They are both dogs. Why is loving someone of your same sex so scandalous? Are they hurting each other? Absolutely not. They are making each other’s day better through hugs and kisses and cute love notes and dates. How is that wrong? Because God? Despite my tumultuous and perplexing relationship with God, I do know that if there is one, it is one of love, not segregation and cliques and fear and perpetual hate.
These thoughts consume me. They break my heart open. They create an endless trail of tears down my cheeks. They give me nightmares. They make me angry. They confuse me. However, they also fill me with an endless amount of empathy, love, compassion. They ignite a fire in me that does not allow me to sit in silence. They make me reach out and help—but most importantly, love.
Because love truly is the answer. Love every second. Love everyone.
Love people of different races.
Love people of different sexual orientations.
Love people of different colors.
Love people of different ages.
Love people of different nationalities.
Love people of different religions.
Love people with different educational backgrounds.
Love people of different political parties.
Love people who hate, but do not allow them to hate on others.
The tears may flow, my—our—optimism may be momentarily shattered, but do not ever, for the sake of everyone, stop loving.