WHAT DOES "ONE LOVE" MEAN TO YOU?
My heart has been so heavy. I suppress my feelings on current events I see and hear about happening all over the world, because we’re all guilty of turning a blind eye; ignorance is bliss, right? This is not a political post, I am not a political person. I guess if you have to use a label, because that’s what society does, I am a humanitarian. I have broken the mold of my brainwashing from birth. I make it a priority to not see race, social status, religion, sexual orientation, or other demeaning stereotypes. What we all have in common is that we are all humans.
"You think the only people who are people
Are the people who look and think like you
But if you walk the footsteps of a stranger
You'll learn things you never knew."
What I always remind myself to consider when a judgmental tendency in me arises is, “if I were in that person’s shoes… how would I feel?” This is something we’ve been asked to practice many times. But have you ever tried it? Tried being considerate? How does it make you feel? It is very overwhelming emotionally to truly stick yourself in your neighbor’s shoes. I’m still working on this, because I am very empathetic and end up feeling and taking on some of the emotion or pain of that person. Not that empathy ever truly allows you to feel what someone is really going through, but it helps make you a more humble person. Something important to think about; do you know how strongly you feel about your beliefs? Ok… well that’s how strongly your neighbor feels about theirs. Be open minded, or don’t. But it’s never worth the argument when you had no intention of being considerate from the start. The same concept goes for when you’re speaking to someone. Know that words hurt. Don’t jump to a reaction without considering where the person was coming from and maybe why they said what they said. There’s usually a reason behind it. Chances are, if you take a couple seconds before reacting, your response will be much different.
ANYWAY, moving on. These thoughts are all very generalized, because when I make conscious decisions of how I want to treat people, one of those decisions is to treat everyone equally. It is no one person’s place to judge another. You will never know the path your neighbor had to forge to get where they are today. You will never know how many times they had to break out the machete to move past painful experiences on that path. Be the smile they saw today, not the snapping turtle they want to run from.
This was initially going to be a post about how recent events have reminded me that there are people on this earth going through struggles that we cannot even fathom to even dream up nightmares about. Not just about the children being detained because of “illegal immigration,” but what we choose to not see happening all over the world. Ignorance is bliss and we are all guilty of it. How privileged we are that we are able to have an opinion on what these people are going through from the comfort of our own homes, with roofs over our heads, food on the table, air conditioning blaring, television acting as background noise. How many of us say that we would do ANYTHING for our children? Anything as in uproot your family from your home, all you’ve ever known, for even the slightest chance to not live in poverty anymore? Even if it means you might get arrested? To maybe get your children a fighting chance at an education so they can potentially have a good life, even if it means you will never see the light of day again? To simply get your children a piece of bread to eat?? Why do these fellow HUMANS need to accept poverty and unthinkable living conditions just because that’s where they were born? Are they not entitled to the same opportunity as us? LUCKY US to have been born in this country. Of course, I have no idea what these people go through. I can only empathize. But this makes me a humble person. I do my best to not complain about material things, sickness, life in general… because it can always be worse. The answer is one love. Did you ever consider what that actually means? What does ‘one love’ mean to you? One love to me means that we are one people who should be looking out for one another. There are no borders or boundaries, only love. I believe there is more goodness in the world than we allow ourselves to see, because all the media spits out is hate, violence, terrorism, to for whatever reason rip us apart. Choose to raise each other up; don’t rip each other apart.
All we can do is do our part by reaching out a loving hand to our neighbors and be empathetic, humble, understanding, and considerate. Don’t always jump to conclusions, and count to 3 before snapping back with a witty comment. Ask yourself, is this necessary to say? Am I going to hurt this person with my words? You may think your individual actions play no part in the overall scope of civilization’s mindset, but remember, strength in numbers. If we cannot stand alone, how can we ever stand together?
Pocahontas | Colors of the Wind | Disney