This year has revealed a whole lot of ugly left in the world.
With the divisive election, terrorist attacks across Europe, and shootings and crime here in America, anger and hatred run rampant in the world.
This year has brought to light many things people simply close their eyes to and pretend do not exist. I was one of those people.
I liked to believe that this world was finished with these things that divide us, and that we finally were making progress toward being a place where no one felt threatened, or hurt, or scared by the people around them.
It’s an ideal that has been proven false over the year, as people now seem angrier than ever.
Democrats attacking Republicans over the new president, and Republicans mocking Democrats over losing. People attacking not only each other’s ideas, but the people who have them as well.
People are divided and spitting hatred at each other, and hatred never solves anything. All hatred does is gouge the land, digging into the chasm between people and making it even deeper.
Hate begets hate. A person is attacked for their beliefs by the other side, which makes them grow to hate that side, which leads them to attack others as well. The hatred spreads and grows like a virus, infecting everyone around it.
So now, more than ever, I think a little bit of love and optimism is needed in the world.
It is easy to give into hate, and honestly it feels pretty good. That mentality that what a person believes is right, and that everyone else who disagrees is wrong, ignorant, or just stupid is such an easy trap to fall into.
That feeling of “us against them” is intoxicating, and it makes it easy for people to shut their eyes and close their ears to the world around them, and to simply pay attention to the narrow view of the world that has been built around them.
It is now easier than ever, because of the internet, for people to live in their own worlds as though it is the only world, and that what they see is what is happening in the world.
It is so easy to live inside an echo chamber that only reinforces what a person believes, and shuts out anything that may conflict with that world view.
One needs to look no further than the aftermath of this election to see this in action. Both sides believe totally different sides of the same story, both saw the same events through their own world-views, and both are at each other throats over what they believe are the important issues.
There is a fundamental disconnect in the world between people, and it is one that leads to anger and hate.
That is why love and understanding are so vital in this world these days, as the deeper these divides grow, the more damaging they become. We are all people, members of the same human race.
We are not what we believe; what we believe is only a part of who we are.
Causes should be supported with peaceful protests, and not violence or riots.
I am not saying to tolerate hate or bigotry, but fighting hate with hate only brings out more hate. As Ghandi said, “An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.”
As we go home for the holidays this year to do what we do before the next semester, we should take some time to reflect on this year.
I hope we can all look forward to a better, kinder 2017.