Thursday, January 08, 2015

Greetings, Earthlings

If anyone reads my blog; other than the few I know who do, it may seem like I'm pessimistic on my outlook of humanity. Truth is, I love humanity. For all its failings (and let's be honest, there are a shit ton), humanity can do one thing that no other animal on this planet can do. Cross-species empathy. A human who is aware of another species pain has the unique ability to help them in a way that no other animal can do. When we see a bird with an injured wing, we can mend them. When we see a species on the brink of extinction (be it our fault or not), we can use our tools to bring them back. This ability to care about something other than ourselves is probably the sole guiding love I have for our species and that keeps me from giving up on us. It is just a goddamn shame we can't share that empathy with ourselves.

To say that this past year and the beginning of this year have not been our best hour would be an exaggeration. Hell, in the days that I've started and stopped writing this post, there was another person of color killed by police, several terrorist attacks, and even more human tragedy. It's as if we continue to stare into the abyss and the abyss just keeps getting wider and wider, and we're about to fall in at any moment. How is it that we can go on? How is it that we can just overlook the disgusting nature of humanity and pretend to have a good day? Truth is, we can't, and more importantly, we shouldn't.

We should never be blind to the horrors we do. We should never not know about the atrocities, the lies, the betrayal, the murder that one human being does to another. We should feel every injustice, every evil, every disgusting aspect of humanity. We should take them all, and with love, hand-in-hand with each other, we should stand, as one. And in one unified voice say, "No more."

These are things we should do, but we don't. At least not all of us. There will always (and I do mean always) be those who just want to see the world burn. How do you fight something that has nothing but hate in their hearts? You do it, by being the change that you want to be in the world.

And I just don't mean by talking about it. It's easy to say, "Oh, I hate murder." Hating the thing that you would never do because you wouldn't go to those extremes is easy. You have to actively stand for the little things that represent the broader scopes you claim to uphold.

You say you respect women? Then do so, and not only when it suits you. If women have issues with the way they're treated in entertainment, in social media, in life; don't all of a sudden assume that there's something wrong with them because the things you enjoy are being brought into question. Listen to what they have to say. Hear the injustice they feel. Understand the fear they go through on a daily basis even if you're not the direct cause of it but the thing you happen to be into is a factor. Stand with them and say, "No one should live in fear or feel like they are being treated as inferior."

You say you're not racist? Then don't discriminate on the basis of cultures that you don't understand and assume that because someone looks a certain way that he or she must be something that has been negatively stereotyped. Don't get offended when a particular race says you will never understand their plight because you have never been put in that situation. Don't pretend you even know for a second what it feels like to be in a country where the color of your skin defines your importance to a situation. Stand with them and say, "No one should suffer this injustice."

You say you're for freedom? Then don't begrudge others the same freedoms. Don't belittle the protests of those who want to have their voices heard. Don't turn away someone who wants the same freedoms you more than likely take for granted. Stand with them and say, "No one should silence the rights that we claim to uphold."

When we're at our most mediocre, our worst tends to run rampant. We allow fear to dictate what we pick and choose to stand up for. But when we're at our best, when we come together as one, when we solidify as brothers and sisters; there's nothing we can't do together. We are capable of such beauty despite our horrors. I know we can, I have seen glimpses of it, I know it exists. We, all of us, we just need to take a stand. Not only for ourselves, but for the planet. We're all Earthlings here. Let's start acting like it.


Carol Cooper said...

"No more" - absolutely. A beautifully written piece, Americo. Sadly, as human beings, we do tend to have selective empathy.
May I recommend the following video that I watched a few days ago:
In it, author Roman Krznaric calls for 'outrospection' rather than introspection. I think it is on a par with your well-written post.
(I'm Brooke's Mum, in case you were wondering :) )

Americo Alvarenga said...

Thank you, Carol (I am aware who you are ;) ) I will absolutely check out that video.