Remember when the world went crazy?
You needn’t search too far into your memory, for I am referring to a reality which we currently live in. A reality in which a night out dancing turns into a massive robbery of life in the blink of an eye. A reality in which, instead of honouring the victims and their families by uniting and finding strength in each other, we create more segregation and proliferate more ignorance. A reality in which we respond to hate with more hate.
Events such as the recent Orlando shooting—as well as the way in which many have reacted to it—remind us of the wildly unconscious and hateful state that the world is currently in.
In the days following the massacre at Pulse, many fingers have been pointed, almost all of them in the wrong direction. Certain cultural and religious groups are the ones most frequently inculpated. It is truly shocking that in the wake of tragedy, many amongst us are again choosing judgment, blame displacement, and ultimately, hate over love.
Regardless of whom you have chosen to vilify, please take a second to turn the attention inward.
Most of us are aware that the world is undergoing a crisis of sorts, as blatantly evidenced by this mass murder. However, at the end of the day, the plight that plagues us is not limited to this one incident, nor can it be attributed solely to one specific person or group. The burden can no longer be thrown around, as if in a game of hot potato. The hatred at the root of the world’s current unrest which leads to such evil acts is entirely a product of our collective doing. We are its fuel.
It is pretty straight forward—if we are not propagating love and acceptance, then we are fuelling hate and intolerance.
We do this every time we judge one another. Every time we fail to consider and respect our differences. Every time we shun the unfamiliar simply because our tiny, little closed minds cannot understand it. Every time we choose ignorance over veracity, pride over empathy, segregation over unity, war over peace. Every time we form discriminatory opinions of others without first taking a long, hard look at ourselves. We are fueling hate. We are leaving the door open for more hate crimes and disasters like this one to occur. We are ourselves, directly contributing to and exacerbating the problem.
It seems that we continue externalizing the blame as we loathe accepting any part in the madness. There is an alarming sense of apathy, a disassociation from the issues and our contribution to them. Perhaps it helps us get to sleep at night, the notion that we are innocent little things, void of any responsibility toward our peers and humanity. So instead, we blame others for the world’s issues—usually those different to us. In essence, we once again actively choose hate.
What has hate done for us lately? What has it done for us ever? When has the world ever been ameliorated by its proliferation?
It has injured. It has killed. It has divided. It continues to do so. It has imprisoned us in a perpetual state of suffering, which we have now accepted as inexorable. It has hindered us from realizing our true potential—as individuals, as couples, as families, as friends, as communities, as nations, as a race and as a whole. It has impeded our ability to live our lives to the fullest and to co-exist harmoniously with all that surrounds us, as the universe intended us to.
There is so much beauty in this world. There is so much to love. There is so much to learn from and to share with one another. In times of tragedy such as this one, we must stand together, not turn against each other. We simply cannot afford to choose hate and separation any longer.
Where there are differences between us, there are even more similarities. Where there is segregation, there can be unity. Where there is ego, there is space consciousness. Where there is ignorance, there is an unparalleled opportunity for growth and development. Where there is darkness, there is the option to be the light. Where there is hatred, there is exponentially more love. Always. That’s a promise.
Every single day we have a choice. We can choose love over hate until it is no longer an option but an innate reflex.
In doing so, we can begin changing the collective consciousness that will ultimately contribute to diminishing the occurrence of atrocities such as this one in the future. Love is and always has been the answer. We must honour the Orlando victims by choosing love, today and every day, from this moment forward.
Choose unity. Choose togetherness. Choose acceptance. Choose peace. Choose love.
Author: Andrée Pontbriand
Image: Phillip Taylor/Flickr
Editors: Katarina Tavčar; Yoli Ramazzina