What I found most upsetting, about the viral video of a deputy tossing a teenage student across the classroom floor at a South Carolina high school, was not that she was black and he was white. It was that the actions of both student and officer were actually debated by journalists and “experts.” The most disturbing part of a viral video, that showed a young Palestinian boy bleeding in the street, was not that some of the Israeli bystanders hovered over him yelling, “death to the terrorist.” It was that no one tried to console this 15-year old child as he screamed in fear before he died. What kills me, about the viral video of a crowd of men in Afghanistan stoning a young woman to death, was not so much that she was standing in a hole dug in the ground, with only her head exposed to ensure impact. It was because someone actually recorded it, and then posted it onto social media.
“An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind;” this was what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once wrote, quoting Mahatma Gandhi. He followed with, “it is immoral because it seeks to humiliate instead of win understanding.” I often hear similar sentiments in everyday conversations, sentiments that condemn a person or a group of people to suffering. I am not exempt from these sentiments either; it takes a conscious effort and a strong faith to show consistent compassion. But I will never claim to be an authority over the fate of others. My intention, always, even if challenging and difficult, is to connect and find common ground. We need to move past conflict, friends. We need to get over our fucking egos and our fears. We need to educate ourselves. We need to get curious about our differences. We need to intentionally build relationships with those deemed as “other” (a damning word if you ask me). We need to show mercy. We need to hold ourselves accountable for the lives we lead and the messages we send to our children.
There seems to be a lack of reverence for human life around the world. We need to love our fellow man.