We need to stop talking so much and start listening.
Stop commenting, stop posting and stop sharing for a few hours and listen to what those around you are saying.
This is a struggle for anyone, including me, since I know I share and comment on social media posts a lot.
It’s been a rough year.
We’ve seen a rise in gun violence and police brutality. According to the Gun Violence Archive, 12,579 people have been killed by gun violence this year so far.
We constantly hear about the bombings in Syria and the nightmare that refugees are living in.
We saw Brock Turner only spend three months in jail for rape. We saw many hurtful and disgusting comments directed towards women and people of color from a presidential candidate.
And on Monday, Drake’s campus saw a picture of notebook paper on the door of two Latina students, saying things like “make the wall” and “repeal the 19th”.
Yeah, I’m pretty pissed off about all of these things. Not just at what’s gone down during this election with a certain candidate but with people who think ignorance and blatant racism and sexism is okay.
Many of us are angry, frustrated, upset, the list goes on. It’s time for the U.S. to take one collective deep breath and reevaluate. It’s time to look around and ask, “Is this who we want to be? Is this what we want to display to the world?”
We, including me, all want to say something about these things happening because it allows us to make sense of what’s going on.
But we need to stop with all the noise.
We all keep jumping at the chance to have our voices heard, which isn’t a bad thing at all. We just need to distinguish between when to speak up and when to listen.
Being quiet is good sometimes. It’s not showing weakness or cowardice.
It’s about showing respect to someone else who is speaking and it’s about seeing through someone else’s eyes.
If we stop listening, we aren’t learning anything. And if we want change, we need people to learn about the different struggles others face everyday. We need awareness and acceptance.
I’ve seen more hateful things online in the past few months than I’ve seen in all of my time on Facebook.
Yes, this has a lot to do with the election. But racism, sexism, discrimination, violence and hate crimes are things that happen everyday and will continue to happen unless we help stop it.
Listen to those who are different from you. Listen to the racism people of color have to deal with constantly. Listen to when women talk about the unfair treatment they’ve received, or the ways they’ve been wrongfully objectified. Be there for your friend who is struggling with a mental illness. Support your LGBTQ friends.
We need to be there for one another. We need to be kind, empathetic and accepting. We have to stop putting our two cents into everything, especially when those comments are offensive and hurtful.
Be open-minded when you’re reading or hearing about the burdens others carry. Tell them you are there for them and are willing to listen whenever. Be a friend because you don’t know how much another person might need one.
Stop attacking others for having opinions different from you. Stop being scared of change and people who look or act different than you.
There’s been a lot of hate going around this past year, but also a lot of love and understanding from people. This election has brought out the best and worst of people, and it won’t end even though the election is over.
There’s still a lot of healing to do. And we can start with the people around us and the communities that have been affected the most.