Where Is The Love In America?
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Politics and Activism

Where Is The Love In America?

The Black Eyed Peas have given us some enlightenment.

Where Is The Love In America?
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Ever since I was a little kid, I always cried when I saw people die on TV. When I first learned about global warming, I was very concerned and worried about the polar bears and penguins my future kids wouldn't be able to see. I cried when the Gaza strip was bombed. Let's just say I cried a lot because I cared a lot. I cried so much that I no longer am able to cry when I see things happen on TV. It has happened repeatedly so often that it has become "normalized." With today's problems surfacing to its boiling point, my head and heart have been spinning to the point that I don't know how to feel about anything or anyone. I think I am kind of accepting everything and processing it all at the same time. However, at the same time, I feel hopeless, motivated, angry, optimistic, pessimistic and realistic all at the same damn time.

In 2008, My grandfather passed away. My mom went through this terrible depression. She had not seen her father in over 20 years. They always talked on the phone about my family visiting. My grandfather loved Afghanistan, he refused to leave and evacuate to India during the Russian Invasion. He said he would rather die in his country than abandon it.

My mom was so depressed and empty inside. We decided to use my parent's life savings for my college funds to fund her trip to go visit his grave in Kabul. I went with her and I can say that it was a moving experience. They didn't have running water, no toilets (luckily my grandmother's home had a toilet just not a working one), ruins everywhere, mountains, houses on the mountains. We drove from one city to another, DRIVING OVER MOUNTAINS. NO ONE followed traffic light procedures! I don't even think they had any.

I remember meeting my cousins, family members I only ever heard of through eavesdropping on my parent's conversations. They were so open, welcoming, friendly, tried to talk to me, to get to know me. They tried to comfort me and tried to make jokes and make me laugh. They taught me how to speak Farsi better. I learned how to Jagra (bargaining for prices in the marketplace). I learned how to appreciate the little things in life. Like water, electricity, air conditioners (we went during the summer), and indoor plumbing! The one thing I missed by far was a nice bathroom with running hot water. I had gone into a depression, I cried for my father every day. That was the year a hurricane and earthquake happened in NY. My father sadly could not come with us to Afghanistan, he had to work and keep his small business open and running at the time. I went through a lot emotionally and cognitively being there.

The number one memory that hurt and stayed with me the most was a little girl, face smothered in dust and dirt, voice cracked and dry trying to ask me for something. I didn't understand at first and my mother had called me to come into the mosque. Later my brain had processed what she was trying to say. "Auntie, could you please spare me some money or food for me and my mother" (She was speaking in Farsi, and the culture there calls anyone who is older than you, you're aunt or uncle). I still have flashbacks of her. I didn't have any money on me anyway, my mother had it on her. The fact that I couldn't have helped her, that it was too late for me have understood what she had said because she was too parched upsets me. I didn't even have the chance to tell her I was sorry.

I came back to the US seeing everything in a different perspective. I started to become what everyone called me my first year at high school, "Sunshine" because I always went around talking to people, making them laugh, looking at the bright side, helping someone I saw crying, listening to others, I tried my best to be the best person I could be. I wasn't aware of why until today.

Today, Flint Michigan is suffering. Today I heard from the elementary school I work at, led was found in the water. Today there is division in our country. Today there is so much anger, fear, opposing perspectives, lack of listening, lack of looking at these problems and the world in a bigger picture, and a lack of trying to figure out HOW TO SOLVE THESE PROBLEMS. Although I am sure there are people with solutions for many of our problems today, multiple people with their own self-interests, lack of education, and defense mechanisms are not letting it happen.

My message today for this article is to allow you, the reader, to just imagine you have experienced something like I had to be grateful for what we have. To be grateful we have nice roads, buildings, food, various amounts of cultures living together, water, technology, doctors, medicine, anything and everything you personally are grateful for having. Also, to acknowledge that as a nation with so much abundance (and let's face it, corporate and political greed going around) we can share with each other. We can feel empathy for one another, we can practice and use our rights, resources, and freedom to stand up for what is right, for what we believe in. Starting with our country, the UNITED States of America. Stand up for the homeless, for the veterans, for the mentally ill and disabled, for the immigrants, for the working class, for those who's lives are at risk, danger, or are targeted based off their beliefs, practices, or how they look (are perceived). For Flint, Michigan, for the South Dakota Pipeline, for #NObanNOwall, for Standing Rock and the Native Americans, for love and equality, a nation of respect, dignity, diversity, open-mindedness, caring, kindness, acts of giving, empathy, and humanity.

Everything that is happening today I personally believe are true examples of the 'butterfly effect'. What we need to reverse this all, is love. Only love can drive out Hate. We need more love, more positive energy, more mindfulness, more acts of kindness, more smiles at one another, more education, more thoughtfulness, open-mindedness. Regardless, some may argue that "human nature is naturally selfish." I argue that behaviors are learned. We need to teach and exhibit more actions and behaviors of love and compassion, consideration, and everything I have been trying to convey in this entire article. In history, revolts and war have not worked. Ridiculing a group and labeling them as some type of 'other' has not worked. Protests and petitions have come a long way. Certain revolutions like the Women's Rights, and Civil Rights movements have worked along with others. Now I doubt with the society we live in today anyone will go to those extremes. Not that I am saying we must. We can do things more peacefully, as a nation. We can Succeed.

Spread the Love.

Flashback to the Black Eyed Peas Song: "Where is the Love?"

"Madness is what you demonstrate
And that's exactly how anger works and operates
Man, you gotta have love just to set it straight
Take control of your mind and meditate
Let your soul gravitate to the love, y'all, y'all

Wrong information always shown by the media
Negative images is the main criteria
Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria
Kids wanna act like what they see in the cinema

Yo', whatever happened to the values of humanity
Whatever happened to the fairness and equality
Instead of spreading love we're spreading animosity
Lack of understanding, leading us away from unity"

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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