Lately there's been a lot of tragedy in the news: shootings, rape, terror, discrimination and so on. And while we can't expect the world to always be a bright and happy place, it shouldn't be filled with this much sorrow in one week. When it comes down to it, these issues all stem from the same thing — lack of respect for one another. It's not just about gun laws, unfair trials or "poor parenting." It's about undermining another human being for no reason other than a personal opinion.

For instance, the shooting in Orlando, one man felt he had the right to kill innocent people simply because he didn't respect them. He didn't respect the fact that they have families and friends who are missing a huge part of their life now. He targeted a specific demographic; it became a crime against the LGBT community. A community of people who struggled for far too long for marriage equality, who had to fight just to be respected by the US government. Unfortunately, they still face this lack of respect now because some people just can't get past something as simple as a different sexual preference.

The tragic incident of a 2-year-old boy drowning at Disney World because of an alligator attack. Sure, plenty of people are showing support toward the grieving family, but then there are those who blame the parents for the accident. Criticizing them for not being more mindful of their son and not taking precautions. This was a freak accident that could have happened to anyone. Multiple people shared pictures and stories of themselves and their families in the same water the incident occurred in. It is not your place to tell people who just lost their child that it was their fault. They have to live with the fact that he is gone. Show some respect and keep your offensive opinion to yourself.

We spend our days judging other people, the way they look or act, the things they say. Somewhere in all the chaos of life, we've forgotten what it means to respect one another. We've forgotten the importance of being kind to people we don't know and showing compassion for everyone no matter what race, gender, sexuality, religion, lifestyle and so on. Instead of fighting among ourselves over who is right or wrong, we need to move toward changing the way we treat each other.

We need to gain respect for the people around us. When it comes down to it, we're all people. Therefore, we are all equal. Once we start treating one another with respect, things might start falling into place. The world will never be free of tragedy, but there's no harm in taking little steps to work toward it.