The world searches for another “why”. Another large number of innocents lost to violence. Social media is lit with more peace, less hate memes. Prayers for Orlando are everywhere. Vigils have been attended by thousands. Families mourn the loss of their precious loved ones. Lives changed forever by a belief.
Tragically, Omar Mateen’s beliefs sent him into a nightclub to spray death. He thought he was right.
How does a belief turn into an action so permanent, so horrendous? We are all human. We live and die, bleed when wounded, weep when we grieve. We need to eat, have shelter and safety. And if we are blessed, we have love. So, why is it we have to believe we are right overriding everyone’s else right to believe. Why can’t we respect that someone else does not believe what we do?
Laws to change beliefs may work on the surface, but do they change a person’s underlying belief? Take the recent transgender bathroom issue….if someone believes it isn’t right, they are never going to agree, or understand. All they are going to be is mad because someone is telling them their belief is wrong.
We say we believe that love is the answer. Then we post incredibly insulting and disrepectful posts about politicians we don’t like. And we extend the meanness to those who might vote for them. Because we are right, we say terrible things to friends and family, but change our Facebook status to include rainbow colors because we believe we should love everyone. Unless of course it happens to be a family member who isn’t behaving the way you believe they should. We condemn religions, lifestyles, corporations and mothers who don’t watch their children as carefully as we think they should. We say mean things to people we hardly know through the magic of a keyboard and Facebook, in groups that only exist in the thin air of the Internet.
Oh yes, we believe in love, we love everyone. We just don’t respect them. We are right and nothing else matters. We judge, we gossip, and if we could control everything, if everyone would just follow our belief, the world would be a better place. Being right is better than being kind or respectful. I know, because I’m as guilty as the next.
Saddened, I don’t know how to stop the hate. My counter response is going to be a concerted effort to perform more random acts of kindness, using my art for good, work on not judging …and understanding I am not always right. I will only share stories of love and kindness. Always believing respect is more important than love, it’s time to walk the talk. I am going to work on remembering to respect that others disagree. Because we don’t gain support, empathy or love when we insist we are right.
But that’s just my belief. I might not be right.