A lot of times, when people talk about other groups of people or their traditions, beliefs, and practices, their hatred or intolerance tends to stem from them not understanding these differences. Often times, people who don't experience any persecution or aren't denied any privilege say that they "just don't get it" when it comes to minorities of any kind.

If everyone were to be open-minded and willing to give the time of day to someone different than themselves, real change would be possible. Dismissing someone different than you on the grounds that you "don't understand" them isn't acceptable. If we desire to have a world where people no longer die from hate, we must do everything in our power to practice love.

To the woman at the March For Life: do not hate the woman who got an abortion. Consider her situation with compassion. Maybe she was a victim of sexual assault. Maybe she comes from an abusive household. Maybe she is too young. Maybe she made a mistake. If you were to try to understand why she made the choice she did, instead of yelling hateful things, we would be able to bridge the gap between the two sides and not only acknowledge the difference in opinion but go deeper to understand it.

To the man who insists that he will practice his toxic masculinity in response to the Gillette ad: instead of blindly and ignorantly reacting to an ad that had the best of intentions, try looking at it from a point of understanding. They are encouraging men to do the right thing in many situations where some may not. Instead of immediately getting angry, think about why the ad made you angry. Think about the people affected by the situations portrayed in the ad.

To the church who speaks out against LGBT+ people and doesn't welcome them the way, they welcome straight people: insisting that LGBT+ people made a choice to live and act the way they do and shutting them out won't help you reach them. Isn't the goal of the church to reach, love, and accept? Shunning entire groups of people is bad enough, but denying them of the love that the very creator of your religion says everyone deserves is just heartbreaking. The best way to love and evangelize is to understand and be open.

To the MAGA sporting, "build that wall" chanting Trump supporters: for once, think of the people who you are standing against. It's pretty much everyone but yourself. It's blacks, it's Muslims, it's LGBT+, it's women, it's immigrants, it's Native Americans...the list goes on. Instead of trying to shut all these people out, or attempting to control their lives and bodies, maybe consider the ways that they differ from you and why your way of life won't work for everyone who isn't like you. If you're going to stand for change, stand for change that benefits everyone. Not just you. Your life won't become any easier because the people around you will only suffer more. If you want to thrive, you have to give others the opportunity to thrive too. Don't blindly follow your parents, your president, your friends, your mentors - ask questions. Think about the policies that they chant for that ruin the lives of others. Understand that this isn't okay.

If we want to live in a world where equality and justice are at the front and center of our society, we have to start with understanding. Understand your privilege. Overcome your ignorance. Love your neighbors, no matter how different they may be.