[Throwback Thursday — originally published July 2013 while on Ecstasy]
Seriously, what is going on with the world lately? America especially. I have witnessed more racism, homophobia, religious in-tolerance, bigotry, hypocrisy, and just plain ignorance and hate more lately than ever. We are all people.
When it comes to homophobia — gay, straight, bi, trans, pan, poly, whatever: we’re all looking for love. Where we find it shouldn’t matter to anyone else who isn’t directly involved. It does not affect you, stop affecting them. If you don’t like it, don’t engage in it. Don’t gawk at it. If you go to an art store and don’t like one of the paintings, do you fight to have it removed? No, you move on and let others who think and see differently enjoy it. Love is Love. In a world full of war and hate and violence and despair, we should be promoting and fighting for every kind of love, instead of fighting against it and causing more anguish.
When it comes to race — we’re all fucking human. I understand being patriotic, but every race has done amazing world-changing things; every race has done horrible, evil things; every race is just trying to live, the same as every other race, just in their own way. Who cares?!
When it comes to religion — faith can be a very powerful thing that saves lives and helps people find themselves and be at peace with themselves. However, faith is personal. everyone’s faith is different, even if you share the same religious beliefs. If people are at peace with themselves, that is all that matters. Just because they don’t believe the same as you, or the same way that you do, does not make them wrong. We only have so many years to live; let people do it their own way. Their afterlife is not your concern. And, even if by some chance one specific religion is right and all the others are wrong, let those people find that out themselves.
I’m sorry if this offends anyone, but I do not believe any god would turn someone away simply because they lived their life believing in their own way, finding their own faith. There are so many different religions, they are not and should never be law. No matter what, it is never okay to force your views on others, and make them live their lives your way. Nor is it okay to hate them, or shun them, or disrespect them, simply because they are finding their happiness a different way than you.
When it comes to bigotry — everything I’ve said above applies. If everyone were the same, we would not have come this far. And honestly, if you have so much hate, or fear, or sadness inside of you (which you must to be so disapproving), maybe you should take a step back and realize that those people are happy, why aren’t you? What are you missing from your own life that you’re trying to fill by controlling, judging, or sabotaging others’?
As for the hypocrisy — seriously? No one is perfect. And the main point of this, no one is the same. You cannot blame someone for making the same mistakes you have. Even if you made them in different ways. We all sin, and no one sin is greater than any other, mainly because no one person is greater than any other. The world, and life, is not simple; it is not black and white; it is not meant to be simply right or wrong. Life itself is a gray area. Don’t justify your sin and disparage another’s, because everyone has different reasons and thoughts and beliefs and feelings. What is right for you may not be right for another. You can not forgive yourself without in turn forgiving others.
As for the ignorance — first of all, the world is using this word wrong left and right. To be ignorant is to be unknowing; lacking in knowledge; uninformed. I have no idea how it has been twisted so many times to mean things it does not (oh wait, ignorance itself is the cause.) Ignorant does not mean rude, or mean, or dumb, or selfish like the majority of people use it. It is simply unknowing to anything. We are all ignorant. I am ignorant to a lot.
The problem (other than the serious improper usage of the word) is that 1. people view ignorance as a bad thing. It is not good or bad. It just is. Some people prefer to remain ignorant to certain subjects, issues, etc. “Ignorance is bliss,” they say. And while “Knowledge is power,” if a person finds their own bliss by remaining ignorant, and it causes no harm, then good for them. People should be educated, yes. But certain information should not be forced on them if they are truly happy and neutral (by neutral I mean not negatively affecting any lives).
Which brings me to problem number 2: If you choose to remain ignorant, you must admit it. Either stay in your own unknowing area and do not speak out, get involved, etc. about something you do not know, or admit that you do not know and educate yourself. Too many people feel so deeply and not only think and believe so powerfully, but insist they know what they do not. I would not teach a french class, because I do not know French. I would not teach a philosophy class, because although I love philosophy and feel very strongly about it, I am ignorant to too many aspects of it.
It’s a sad thing that such a simple example does not apply to the bigger picture, the real world. Everyone has something to say about everything. Voice your opinion, be heard, stand up for what you believe in. But educate yourself before you do, otherwise you are just contributing to a world run by unqualified people. And don’t just learn about one side, because singular sides are just that, one sided. If you don’t want to remain unknowing, and you will admit that you are ignorant, then you must admit it on every level, and educate yourself on every level, not just that which you agree with.
I must explain my stance further by stating that I do not condone all admitted or blissful ignorance. Everyone should be educated about what is important. And yes, there are a few issues that are important to the world; to everyone, whether they think so or not. It is okay to remain blissfully ignorant in certain situations. But in others you owe yourself, your children, your parents, your friends, your ancestors and next generations, our history and our future, knowledge. You owe them an attempt, trying you best (sometimes even a little less, life can be tough) to become informed on what is important. Not only what is important to you, but what is important to our survival. What is important to be the best person you can be, by your own standards.
So stop being ignorant! Stop misusing the word; learn what you can about what you can, that you want; stop using the word as an insult to others when you are guilty yourself. No one is not ignorant. No one is all-knowing. Ignorant should be a word. It should be used to describe its definition. “A lack of knowledge about a particular subject.” It should not be used to offend, hurt, bully, put-down, or make fun of people. It should be used to help eliminate itself.
And as for the hate — just stop. Yes, the world can be a cruel and evil place. Hate caused that in the first place. More hate is not going to help. Nor is it going to help you personally. On top of the well-known health problems that come with hatred (stress and anger stem from, and fuel, hate, and stress and anger in your mind and soul can kill your body), you will never be at peace or truly happy until you release that hatred and accept love.
Now, for you mushy types, you can take it that way. Because that is your love. But for the non-mushy types, I don’t just mean the butterflies, blushing, ooh-la-la kind of love; or any kinds of the very emotional love. I just mean love. Your love for yourself; your love for your life; your love for today and tomorrow and yesterday; your love for love. You must be able to love in order to be happy. You can love your parents, your significant other, your children, your other family, your pets, your job, your hobbies, your bed. You can love helping, trying, succeeding. You can love contentment, your past, your future, your present. You can love a stranger, someone who doesn’t love you, someone who loves you more, someone who hates you. You can love taking that first waking breath every morning, or exhaling that last sigh as you fall asleep. You can love your freaking toenails. But, I’m talking about real, unfiltered, pure, core-level love.
This kind of love is not the love most people nowadays have in relationships. It is not the love you have for your favorite ice cream, or that new name-brand shirt you have to have. This is fulfilling love that consumes you, that dispels the hate. That allows you to love in all of those other ways. This love is peace. It is acceptance. It is believing. It is faith. It is knowledge. It is everything. This love defines your soul (and if you don’t believe in souls, then substitute, because there has to be something you believe is you; and if you really, truly don’t believe in anything, then please reach out to me and educate me as to your [non]beliefs, and reasoning, and feelings, and everything else, so that maybe we can learn from and teach one another, or at least gain a new perspective and be able to see something differently). Without this love, which you may possibly never show to anyone or anything, you cannot be truly happy.
Hate is pointless. I shouldn’t say that, not all hate is pointless, but Hate cannot be forever or it is pointless. Hate for good reason helps us to cope, helps us to move on and better deal with future endeavors. Hate for bad reasons sometimes sticks with us, and mitigates the great importance of the meaning of the word. However no matter the reason, if you cannot rid yourself of that hate, it will grow, and turn into you. Now, I’m not talking about how you “hate” traffic, or “hate” Dubstep or Country, or how I “hate” getting wet. I’m talking about true, deep seated, too powerful for words hate. Not when you “despise” or “loathe” someone for doing you wrong. But true hate.
When you won’t take responsibility for your actions, people often develop hate. When you focus on the bad and never take that extra minute to not only notice, but admire the good, that often results in hate. Hate is not for one person or thing, hate is deep within you. And you take it out on people, or things, or races or sexual orientations or religions or groups. But it does not help, because they are not who, or what, you hate. You just hate. And you must allow yourself to invalidate and oust that monster deep within you, or it will grow and you will never love, never be at peace, never live up to your true potential.
As for who you take it out on, just stop. Hating people because they are different is never going to solve anything. You are not going to get rid of them; Hitler tried and failed, as did others. As I’ve said before, you are not perfect. You are no better than anyone else. Everyone is good, and bad, in their own ways. (please realize that I do not mean you are the same, as I’ve also said before, no one is the same. Also this does not mean that a rapist or murderer is not wrong, or that you shouldn’t feel better than them. But, in my opinion and in my eyes, no one is better than another. It is not the individual’s fault, even though in a lot of cases they do control who they become, it is everyone’s fault. It is our society’s fault, our country’s fault, our world’s fault. Something, somewhere, somehow happened to make that person feel that they had to do what they did, or stopped them from caring, or stopped them from realizing.
I concede that I do blame individuals, because they do most often have the ability, power, and knowledge to change, but they don’t. Yet, in the long run; the big picture, it is not solely their fault. It is their environment. Hell, it may have even been a past life, but something affected that person’s mindset, thoughts, feelings, emotions, beliefs, principles, concepts, and heart. [I’m also not denying science—I am an avid believer and supporter of science, and do believe some people have different brain chemistry than “normal” people, but they are a different case.] But it’s not just their immediate, direct environment, or their past environment, but their whole entire environment, from the immediate to the government to a kid riding his bike in another country.
To be continued/edited..*