My heart is filled with sadness at the news of yet another tragedy. Innocent lives stolen—mothers, daughters, fathers, and sons, lost. To be honest I don’t watch the news that much anymore. Every story seems to be about violence. Senseless shootings in Chicago, acts of terror around the world. And it’s getting more prevalent. As someone who writes about love and happy endings, it’s hard to wrap my head around how people can be filled with such hate.
There have always been groups out to rid the world of those they see as different, which apparently makes them less worthy as human beings. But I used to think that things would get better with each generation. The message I try to teach my children is one of tolerance. We live in a time when there are metrosexuals, homosexuals, transsexuals, you name it. And while I can’t claim to know the struggles they face, I’d like to think it’s easier now for people to embrace who they are rather than live in fear. Look at the strides we’ve made with gender equality and same-sex marriage. We still have a way to go, but we are moving in the right direction. Of course there will always be those that continue to hate what they see as different or wrong, but then I think about the countless people who have come to embrace these differences and accept them as the norm. Like with technology, at some point our children won’t know any different because that’s the way things have always been.
So if that’s the direction things are headed, why is there still so much hate?
Haven’t we learned from the mistakes of generations past? I used to think this hatred was driven by fear. Fear of not understanding another person’s way of life, another person’s culture or religion. But now I wonder if it stems from a distorted sense of belonging. We all want to belong. Having a common set of values or beliefs unites us. Perhaps these extremists are motivated by a sense of belonging with like-minded individuals or what they see as belonging to a higher order. I don’t know.
Some days I live in fear. It’s hard not to think about what could happen when you live in a big city and you’re at a major event with your family. It’s only a matter of time until the next strike happens. I often feel helpless, but what I’m going to continue to do is teach my kids acceptance. Being different is not a bad thing and makes the world a more interesting place. I support same-sex marriage. In my opinion love is love. We have enough hate in the world, so if two people who love each other want to be together I take no issue with that. I’m a Jewish woman, sadly still the target of hatred and discrimination. So who am I to judge? I hope there are others like me who will also teach their kids acceptance. Because if not we’ll just fuel the fire. I like to believe that good will always overcome evil. So if we all choose love, I hope it can slowly begin to extinguish the flame of hate. I choose love.