Are You The Reason For The Orlando Tragedy?

Are You The Reason For The Orlando Tragedy?

Forget gun control, deportation or mental institutions - the answer lies within ourselves.

adress latif/reuters

"If there was ever a moment for all of us to reflect and reaffirm our most basic beliefs that everybody counts and everybody has dignity, now's the time." Obama spoke on Thursday about the tragedy in Orlando. "It's a good time for all of to us reflect on how we treat each other and to insist on respect and equality for every human being."

There is no doubting the amount of evil and hatred that fueled the actions of the gunman in Orlando, but aside from the incredible support shown towards the families of the victims and LGBTQIA community, many responses from everyday people may explain the reason why tragedies like these happen in the first place. What drives a person to commit such a heinous act? Because they’re crazy! What does it mean to be insane? Where and how does it start or stop, and why don’t all insane people do these things? We don't understand enough about mental health, but calling someone crazy is the foolproof way to rid them of all credibility, even though it doesn't really mean anything when you think about it, and mental illness is used as a way to push someone aside. Because he is Muslim! How is their religion that much different than our own, and why should one man or one radical group’s actions speak for an entire group of people? Islam is a religion of peace, and in every group of people, in every religion, there are of cruel people.

Because our gun laws are too strict! Considering he was able to obtain an army grade rifle and bring it into the club, one could argue otherwise. "It's unconscionable that we allow easy access to weapons of war in these places" speaking on Father's Day, "Being tough on terrorism means making it harder for people who want to kill Americans to get their hands on assault weapons that are capable of killing dozens of innocents as quickly as possible." The Senate is scheduled to vote on a series of gun related proposals on Monday.

We don’t care to look deeper because it is in our nature to accept the easiest explanation and the explanation that best suits our beliefs, but it is naïve to assume that his actions are so simply explained, and instead of perverting a tragedy to further political agendas, we must take it as a societal wake up call, because there will never be a simple explanation for anything as complex as a human being.

This is a difficult time for the families of the victims, for the gay community and for society as a whole, and thinking beyond the surface about exactly why someone would ever do this is difficult, is the but we must understand that if we ever hope to stop these senseless acts from happening, if we ever hope to stop hatred and evil from harming ourselves and our loved ones, we start looking at ourselves and taking responsibility for the fact that we may be to blame for some of these tragedies.

We cannot be threatened by introspection, self-awareness or self-criticality, because it leads to the blame being projected on someone else, as someone else's problem. The fact that these tragedies happen says a lot about our society, and we blame society -- but we are society. Judging someone. Insulting someone. Excluding someone. No matter how little we may think of a person, acting on negative feelings only feeds the energy that is responsible for breeding hatred and evil and acts of violence. You cannot love someone without loving yourself first, and the only place that hatred can manifest is from within our hearts. If we don't love ourselves, we are more likely to treat someone with contempt and ridicule, and they, having their own self-worth questioned by you, do the same, leading to an endless cycle that can has no greater end. I am not saying that every snarky comment leads to shootings, but more times than not, tragedies can be traced back to the assailants' histories of being ostracized, misunderstood, and neglected by everyone around them. We need to stop looking at the politics, and focus on how we can change our mindsets to prevent this from happening by changing how we treat people. No one ever knows the full story, we won't always get along, and we won't always like each other, but at the end of the day, we are all the same and should be treated with respect.

Snap judgments and stereotypes were crucial to our ancestors’ survival millions of years ago, and although we still have these subconscious biases, to act on them in the form of prejudice or discrimination is a conscious choice. Human beings have the unique capacity to be able to think in complex and rational ways. We are able to be empathetic and sympathetic, to display love and kindness, to provide compassion and understanding. Embracing these human qualities is the ultimate sign of strength because in a world filled with hatred, it is difficult to love and be optimistic, but doing so is only way for anything to change, and the only way to do it is together.

"It is not easy
to stop thinking ill of others.
Usually one must enter into a
friendship with a person who has
accomplished this great feat
Then something might start to
rub off on you
of that
True Elegance"

-Hafez, Persian poet nicknamed for his memorization of the Quran

What consumed the gunman's being so much that he believed that taking the lives of 49 people and his own and wounding more than 50 others was the only thing left for him to do is something we may never fully understand, but if we take responsibility for our effect on others, we may see that we are more at fault than we may think or like to admit. Negativity begets negativity, and we can never wipe away fully the hatred and evil, but at the end of the day, we all want and deserve the same: to be happy, to avoid suffering, and to be accepted for who we truly are. Genuinely understanding and wishing that for others and thinking before we speak or act will lead to a future where people can not only be happy with themselves, but can also accept others for who they choose to be, and this will lead to a world where there will be little room for violence and bigotry when active compassion and acceptance take their place.

#LoveWins #OrlandoStrong #LoveAlwaysWins

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