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We all bleed red.
As I go through my newsfeed or watch the news channel, I find it’s full of death and destruction. We are living in a world overflowing with chaos, driven by hostility and terror. We are in a constant state of distress.
I am absolutely heartbroken and, like many, completely fed up with the excuses from all sides. Influenced by unreliable media, hatred and fear, we are coerced into choosing a side and staying divided.
You see, it is automatically assumed that if you support one movement you must detest the other—and therefore you are the enemy. I am at a complete loss on how supporting any of these makes us the rival.
Just because one says “Black Lives Matter” does not mean Blue Lives don’t—and vice versa.
And is such an unrecognized word bursting with an immeasurable amount of power. Its very definition is to unite two separate entities together as one.
Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter.
I am not in denial. There is a major flaw in our system, and racism is very much still alive in this world, regardless of the fact that it doesn’t live in my heart and most likely not in yours.
Racism is perceptions and opinions fueled by hate and fear, passed down from generation to generation like an old family recipe. We aren’t born to hate each other for our differences. We learned to hate; we were taught by those before us—those who continue to fuel a fire we didn’t start.
With camera phones and social media, we can now start a forest fire with one click. We can tear apart another’s life based on one person’s perspective. The thing we must remember about pictures is that in order to see the whole thing, we must have multiple cameras rolling at one time.
Yes, voices need to be heard. Wrongdoings need to be corrected. And the unjust needs to be resolved something fierce.
I am not dismissing any of that.
However, when we start judging we often stop observing, and this is how many of our issues are intensifying at lightening speed.
There is always more than one way to get the job done. Two plus two is four, and so is three plus one.
So far, meeting violence with more violence has done nothing but create more tragedy and separation. More families carry the heavy, unthinkable burden of having to say goodbye to their loved ones. As the world spews its opinions-by-hashtag of what matters most, these families are left in shambles.
We have failed each other in the search for unity; we only accept another if he or she thinks the same way we do. We can’t agree to disagree. No, now we have to choose.
We must choose a side instead of accepting each other as a whole and respecting one another’s views. Them versus us.
We have vainly declined to take personal responsibility or be held accountable for our actions as a society. So it’s no surprise individuals feel they can play judge and jury while deciding who lives and who dies. Two wrongs don’t make a right; however, every day I read about lives taken by the hands of those who believe they are right.
This battle, which I did not sign up for, has become personal for me. My children are black and white.
You see my dear friend, there is not a side of the fence for them, they are the fence and the future.
It’s 2016. We should have figured out how to unite and see each other for what we are: human.
No more fences, yet we are more divided than ever. I don’t know about you, but I refuse to choose a side. I choose love. No matter our differences, you are loved by me and you matter to me.
This isn’t a black and white problem.
This isn’t an “us” versus “them” problem.
This is an “our” problem, and we need to get our sh*t together.
This world is in desperate need of love, compassion and understanding—we all bleed red. I am not anti-anything; I choose to be pro-love. Love is the only thing that can drive out hate, and that always starts within.
If you want to change the world you must change your thoughts with a daily effort to be better than yesterday—less judgment, more acceptance and understanding for all.
Simply love more.
We must remember to teach our children to love more. They are the future, and they will suffer our consequences if we continue down this destructive path.
Blue Lives Matter and Black Lives Matter. In times like this we must come together and unite beyond our differences.
We are one race: the human race.
Author: Jessica Rae
Image: AK Rockefeller/Flikr
Apprentice Editor: Stacey Zlotnick; Editor: Toby Israel