I originally wrote this as a Facebook status update in 2018 to express my frustration with America. It’s 2020, and we’re on the eve of a contentious election, our democracy on the brink of disaster. In the last 4 years, we’ve seen hate, the likes of the 1960s, rear its ugly head, once again. I figured I might share this post again, with a new audience in the hopes it might inspire someone to love.
Been working in Higher Education for 20 years this year (1998-2018, I know scary right). The thing about education (be it in the form of college, high school, or the school of life) is that you must embrace learning and be open minded. You must be willing to learn about yourself along the way, as well as learn about other people, other cultures, other perspectives, etc. Hate is home grown and comes out of the inability to not step out of our homogeneous communities to actually meet, live with, and get to know others who are different from us. No one said this was an easy task because we are all raised in different environments, with different parents, family members, friends, neighborhoods, etc., but it is still much easier to show compassion, kindness, and love to others than it is to have a closed mind and hate. You have to work real hard to do that. Now, we don’t have to be BFFs with everyone different from us, but a simple hello, good morning, a head nod, a something, is better than nothing. Then, you are telling people you know they exist and vice versa. And then, if you feel compelled to have further conversation or engage in a social activity (even something as simple as coffee, a drink, etc.) we are all the better for it, even the smallest gestures mean alot, they are building blocks. I have so many friends and acquaintances from all walks of life, from other countries, other states, speak other languages, have different life experiences, all ages, races, abilities, and identities. And no, I don’t always understand everything about who they are, but the one common bond we have is that we try, we talk, we ask questions, we laugh, we socialize, and we share time with each other. That is it. This is what it takes and that is what it will take for #America to get back on track. Hate cannot be our signature on the world. It cannot be what others see when they look at our history. Yes, it’s a part of our history but it cannot be what defines us. #LoveThyNeighbor #LoveIsKind