By Ali Kochik
In our world today, it has become blatantly obvious that there is an incredible divide amongst the human race. Neighbor’s opinions conflict with neighbors, friends opinions conflict with friends, and even family members find themselves arguing around the dinner table about who did what in the news.
These types of disagreements are inevitable, as people who put themselves in positions of power open themselves up to criticism towards the choices they make. Not everyone is going to approve of their actions, nor of those who support them.
As far as bridging the divide, things may seem bleak. With controversy ruling the office for the foreseeable future, the conflicts don’t really look to be anywhere near over.
However, I have come to a conclusion.
It really doesn’t even have to be about politics.
This summer, I read an article by a woman named Kayla Chadwick for the Huffington Post. The article was simply titled, “I don’t know how to explain to you that you should care about other people.”
Let me tell you, I have never admired a single piece of text so strongly before in my life.
The piece explains how the divide between people isn’t at all related to politics, rather an empathetic divide that prevents people from seeing eye to eye.
Obtaining that empathy and attempting to see the world through the eyes of someone completely different is what makes the world thrive. Diversity and more importantly, our ability to exercise compassion and understanding towards others is what makes people so beautiful.
Throughout the article, Chadwick laments that the arguments she finds herself in are all dead ends because you can not make people care about the wellbeing of others.
But please, for the sake of humanity, can we all just agree to try?
To those who feel that the rights to marriage should be limited to one specific type of couple: Instead of disregarding the legitimacy of other relationships, for religious reasons or otherwise, try to understand that these are other people’s lives and everyone deserves true love whether it be with a man or a woman. Try to remember that someone else’s happiness in no way decreases your own.
To those who believe in the defunding of organizations such as Planned Parenthood: While it may not directly affect you in any way, please understand that this is the source of many women’s health-care, both directly and indirectly relating to reproductive rights as well. Please know that the defunding of this because it is somewhat “controversial” is truly snatching the safe and reliable providers out from under thousands of women.
To those who express little to no concern for the refugees risking everything that they have to wash up on our shores: Keep in mind that they are human beings and they have lives and families and they are in danger. We are a country filled with people who are very blessed and very fortunate to have the security that we do, and while you may feel that security will be breached if we let just anyone in, we need to do a better job of finding a safe way to do so. People need us, and if we are okay with just turning them away and slapping the label “terrorist” on their back, then we are not the nation of bravery and selflessness that we claim to be.
To those who preach hate on our country: You can be patriotic with and without agreeing with the government. But don’t you think our country has enough resentment? Our country has its problems, but they are worth fighting for and resolving. We should stop putting out negativity and start putting in effort for change. If you consider yourself to be patriotic at all, you will take a stand and remind one another to show empathy and not enmity towards everyone.
And, finally, to those who support or fail to see the wrong in the pure hatred exhibited in Charlottesville: If we want our country to be accepting and free, we must come to the agreement that we have no room for those who try to cut down these liberties in the fragile states that they are in. Now more than ever we need to unite and support one another regardless of if we are self-titled Republicans or Democrats, and work together to drain all animosity out of the United States. For we are not a nation that tolerates Nazis. We are not a nation that tolerates the KKK. We are not a nation that tolerates hate.
We are so much better than this.
We just have to try.
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