I’m going to keep today’s post short and simple because the solution to what happened this weekend (and every day before and after) is just that: short and simple. It’s hard to leave a weekend like this feeling anything but anger and sadness. Surprised? Not so much. Events like what occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia happen on a daily basis, they’re just oftentimes not as explicit, violent, or demonstrated on such a mass scale. The thing about racism, white supremacy, xenophobia, religious intolerance, homophobia, and sexism–more specifically–is that they are insidious and they don’t have to be overt with the stereotypical symbols of hate, like burning crosses, angry mobs, and lynch ropes, to be painful and harmful. Acknowledge that. Acknowledge your own bias and the beliefs you have that cause you to judge and mistreat people who are different from you. Acknowledge your own privilege. Have conversations. Do the work and recognize that that work won’t be easy. Do it anyway because at the end of the day our job on this earth is to make life easier, happier, and better for everyone, not just some. The only way things are going to change is if you do something to change it. 200 + years is a long time to hate others. It’s also a long time to live in fear. Isn’t it time we actually do something about this? Love on someone today. Maybe it starts with love. Maybe that’s the first step in the right direction. Maybe we could at least try.
Brace yourself for what I’m going to say: the world is filled with haters and people who say and do hurtful and damaging things just to bring you down, throw you off your game, and make you sad, ashamed, or embarrassed about who you are. And while it’s easy to crumble under the weight of such pain, you have to be brave, strong, and remember to live in your truth and be authentically and unapologetically you! Whether you’re bisexual or transgender, Black or Asian, liberal or conservative, an atheist or Jew, there will always be close-minded jerks, bigots, homophobes, racists, sexists, and just plain ol’ idiots. You may not be able to change them or their minds, so why let their words and actions change yours? Never be ashamed of who you are, where you’re from, or the person you wish to be and love.
You may not always feel like it, but you matter. You matter to so many people—don’t second guess that. You have already or will someday make a difference in the world—but that’s hard to do if you’re always trying to be like everyone else. You were born to march to the beat of your very own drum, so don’t let anyone tell you there’s anything wrong with being different. Why fit in when you were born to stand out, right?
There are people whose life’s mission is to make your life miserable—don’t give them the satisfaction. There are people whose life’s goal is to see you fail, who will frame you and defame you—remain undaunted in the fight of life. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t do something. Do you want to be the varsity athlete, captain of the debate team, and first seat violinist? Do it! You can do whatever you set your mind to if you believe. Believe. Believe in the beauty of your dreams. Believe in the goodness of your spirit. Believe in the power of your mind, body, and soul. Be(lieve in) YOU and, if you’re not harming yourself or others, live your life and live your truth. Life is already hard enough. Why spend it pretending to be someone you’re not? So, what are you waiting for? Pick up your drum and start marching!