“We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger
We rise and fall and light from dying embers remembrance that hope and love last forever.
Love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love cannot be killed or swept aside”
-Lin Manuel Miranda
At my very core, I am an optimist. I do my best to look at the best of situations, no matter how dire it may be. I try to find the best in people, even when they themselves wrong me. I try to keep my head up, because to lower it would mean certain victory for evil and sin. I am optimist, for I choose to believe.
However, now, I can’t bear to look up. Over the last four years, we have seen far too many atrocities and tragedies unceremoniously make their way into our phones, televisions, computers, and hearts. Whether it was Newtown in 2012 or most recently in Orlando, the pain, shock, and sadness has never numbed. These happenings are tragic. Lives were lost. Loved ones never got to see their loved ones ever again. Far too many stories have been cut short due to the foolishly arrogant and destructive entitlement of a madman. And in the wake of these events, what do we do? You may believe a simple retweet will be more than enough to let society know that you are doing your part in the ongoing fight against violence and terror. Or perhaps adding a template to your profile picture will help establish you as the salt of the world. We are all guilty of doing these, and while these acts may be sincere, it’s needless to say these can do so much to truly ignite change.
It doesn’t matter what you believe in, or the color your skin, or the person you choose to love, violence is violence. Like a wildfire, it rapidly and infinitely spreads, leaving no one untouched by its terrifying might.
While violence is an inevitability, it must be known that we ourselves hold the hold the supply and potential to enable such pain, whether it be lying, ignorance or negligence. We have the ability to sweep the entire foundation of a person by way of language. Words can kill.
But they can also build.
In this bleak era we call the present, it is sometimes hard to remember that we can act as a catalyst for change and good in this world. Many find these mass shootings to be now commonplace, and we simply cannot have that. It has been a very divisive time in our world, especially in America, but this piece is anything but political. I am simply saying that it might actually be a benefit within ourselves to be kind to one another, to appreciate the people who are placed in our lives. We can be kind, help others through adversity and in turn they will hopefully help us. Words are the one key facilitator to exact true change within a society. With it, negativity can be overthrown and doused by positivity and optimism. Uncertainty and anguish can transform into victory and in due time, the lowered heads of the world will once again raise in defiance to terror and destruction.
Now is the time to be alive. Now is the time to show the agents of chaos that we know our worth, and will refuse to suppress our love and kindness any longer. Now begins the time to live.