I’m still trying to process Sunday’s tragedy in Orlando. What happens to a person that causes them to snap and take their fear and rage out on innocents? Perhaps we’re not supposed to figure it out. Dissecting such a horror can easily suck us into the event horizon of fear and hatred ourselves. I cannot begin to fathom the sadness felt in the communities of all my brothers and sisters. Not just the LGBTQ community but the decent majority in the Muslim community, left ashamed and branded by the horrific acts of the extreme few. As a fellow human being, I feel equally ashamed and branded. To be a part of a society that breeds this type of behavior is unthinkable. I am a human being and human beings can be insanely cruel. It is needless heartbreak. Haven’t we all had enough?
The chaos in our world does a very good job of distracting us from our daily life. Chaos shakes our foundations and distorts our view of ourselves and the world around us. But chaos can also show us the way back to the true meaning in life. The meaning of love and friendship. The meaning of sharing our hearts, unabashedly and without hesitation, to those in need—and even those who do not realize they are in need. This is what it means to be human. Not the senseless cruelty we inflict on each other with violence or slurs. Isn’t it strange how one must learn how to hate, but one does not need to be taught how to love?
In our beginning, we were all the same. We were all innocent babies without opinions and demands on those around us. We asked for our needs to be met: to be fed and clothed and loved, but we did not form thoughts of hate and judgment in this innocence. There was no room for it in our hearts. Where do we learn this cruelty? Where do we learn how “not-to-love” one another? How can we continue to live this way? We can’t. We simply can’t. The only salve for these wounds comes in the form of hope. Hope in the sense that we will see good come from this tragedy. That we will see growth in compassion and understanding. We must.
To those who will undoubtedly hold fast to your close-mindedness, I implore you: look beyond your opinion of the truth. Open your hearts and open your minds. Stretch your perspective and the limited vision of self or the world you’ve created around you. Put yourselves in others’ shoes. Evolve to become better human beings to each other. To be human is to love. It is in our inherit nature to love. It is what we were all born to do. No matter what path we decide to follow, our one and only mission in life is to love. Nothing else matters.