by Courtney Cronin
We live in a divided world. Trying to come to terms with this fact is disheartening, and as a person who wants to believe in the good in humanity, I have been at a loss for words. I'm constantly finding it harder and harder to empathize with some of the viewpoints I see plastered across social media. Black or White, illegal immigrant or citizen, liberal or conservative, we all make up the human race.
So why do we subdivide? Why do we focus on the ways we are different and can't see that that's what makes us the same? If we look outside of ourselves, we see that nature is made up of conflicting elements that work together in harmony: earth, wind, fire and water. The elements create harmony out of discord, but more importantly, harmony in discord.
Live in peace
This should be true of the human race too: we are all different, but together we should be able to live in peace. Our lives are not our own; we are interconnected with strangers in ways we can't even fathom. We need to start loving strangers the same way we love ourselves, our friends and our family.
A poison is spreading across the U.S., and it's the idea that white people are somehow better than black people. This mindset is ruthlessly gaining momentum, and it is responsible for countless senseless deaths in the black community. The indisputable fact is that the black community needs help; it needs attention.
So many people get caught up the semantics of "Black Lives Matter" vs. "All Lives Matter." They don't realize that when we say, "Black Lives Matter," we mean that they matter too: not more, not less, but they matter just the same. When a student is struggling in a class, they go to a tutor for help: that tutor doesn't go and tutor everybody else in the class, they focus on the student that needs help. The same is true of the Black Lives Matter movement.
A call for understanding
Even though I believe in the Black Lives Matter movement, I have to remind myself that it is equally important to understand all the opposing views: white supremacy included. Through understanding, I can help to change the trajectory of that harmful view on humanity. Or in other words, I can meet them in the middle.
Whether it's Black Lives Matter, Blue Lives Matter, or All Lives Matter: lives matter. We are all a part of humankind; a precious gift that can be taken from us in an instant. There is no room for racism. We cannot allow what happened in Charlottesville to happen again. We cannot allow this broken world to keep breaking...but how do we stop it?
Sometimes I just want to shake the world by its shoulders and scream, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?" But that won't get us anywhere. We need to cultivate love, culture and experiences. Knowledge is the answer to all social issues; when we are in the pursuit of truth, truth renders us all equal. We must open ourselves up to spending time with people who have opposing viewpoints in order to broaden our worldview. We must embrace the discord to find the harmony.