Everybody is different. Everyone comes from a different background, a story, that differs from your own. Yet, even though we can agree on having different stories, we cannot agree with our differences. Don’t believe me?
Christians are “judgemental.”
Police Officers are “racist.”
Women aren’t treated “equally.”
Muslims are “terrorists.”
White people are “privileged.”
Black people are “ignorant.”
Lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders don’t deserve “equal rights.”
All these differences in ethnicity, background, nationality, religion, gender, and sexual orientation. We all agree there are differences between all of these, yet we cannot accept them. Don’t you dare form an opinion about these “hot topics.”
Our country’s culture has divided us. We assume before we know. We see a uniform or a color or a clothing style, and we immediately assume the stereotype portrayed to us through the media. There has been a question that has been rattling around in my mind for quite some time now:
How can we let the actions of a few dictate the picture of the rest?
Seriously, how can we? I know police brutality exists and racism exists, but are all police officers racist? No. Are all Christians judgemental? No. Are all Muslims terrorists? No. We have to stop being so indifferent about our differences. Speak up. But if you do, you have to be willing to open up.
I don’t have the “fix” or solution for this division that has ripped across our country. I do have a mantra, if you will, that I think could help. Try it out and you tell me if it works.
Instead of trying to change the world all at once, what if we changed the world one conversation at a time?
See, its all about relationships. When we have context into people’s lives, things make sense. Advice, time, investment, support all starts to seep in and make a difference. Some random person on the side of the street yelling a message won’t affect me. Someone who isn’t random, who has been by my side, and is whispering encouragement to me — that's who will make a difference in my life.
The way we help unify each other is speaking up about these issues, but in the context of a relationship. We no longer have the right to just say hurtful things, walk away, and never have to think of it again. We have to have a conversation, an ongoing conversation.