by Katie Page. Reprinted from The Huffington Post
I am angry.
The events of past weeks, months and yes, years angers me. It is centuries of violence and hate. I hear stories, I watch videos, and there is no sense to it. There is a cacophony of accusation, blame, justification and glorification. I must make my own conclusions as I cannot or will not trust our institution of media, which seems to exist solely for their ratings and widening the divide between us.
Life is fragile, and death is forever. I don’t have the right to play the judge, the jury, or the executioner. Nor should any other individual. Our court system, who should uphold justice, seems overwhelmed, corrupt and in decay.
How did we get here? I do not believe anyone is born bad, less than, evil, or with hate in their heart. It is the environment in which they grow up in, the people they are surrounded by (by choice or not), and other influences in their life. I believe in nurture over nature…only the nurturing is missing.How can we begin to nurture and humanize one another when tension and anger run high? I recommend letting the anger and frustration, no matter what views are held, catapult you forward. Perhaps the solution is simpler than we may think, perhaps it is well… talking. How are we to move forward if we do not understand one another at a human level?
The use of stereotypes in our culture challenge us to recognize our shared humanity. Yet at our core, we do value many of the same aspirations. We want our families to come home safe and we want the freedom to pursue life, liberty, and happiness whatever that may look like. Our ways of achieving and protecting these values is where we differ.
Through basic relationship and trust building exercises, we can begin to understand one another’s motives and open our minds. Even if we still do not agree we can begin to take steps closer to understanding and coming to viable solutions. We can still care about one another and not agree, and from what I have seen it is harder to hate and be violent towards people you care about.
As human beings, we can choose to be kind. We can choose to respond to and address grievances voiced by our fellow humans. And if we have been harmed, we can accept the restitution of our fellow humans and move on. Redemption is another missing piece in our culture. If we have redemption, we have hope that life will get better. We have a responsibility to each other to see our common humanity.
Humanization is the solution.
Katie is a recent graduate living in Denver, CO. She loves spending time with her dog and friends and is passionate about helping improve the world. She is the Executive Administrative Partner at Living Room Conversations, working with the team to spread meaningful and trust-building communities around the world.