We Are Still Broken
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Politics and Activism

We Are Still Broken

Reminders for those of us living in the "land of the free."

We Are Still Broken

Our world is sick and it has been for some time now. Humans have been walking the earth together for roughly 100,000 years, yet we still haven't figured out how to love one another. It's such a simple concept yet it's been the most difficult task for mankind to ever accomplish.

In America, we believe that we have, in fact, mastered this concept. We even call our country the "land of the free" which is quite contradictory to the experience of many, many Americans. Recently, it seems like there is a new atrocity popping up in the news every single day. We aren't free, America. Not yet. We have quite a ways to go before our actions fit our motto and it is going to take a lot of hard work.

With all of the pain and turmoil that has taken place in our so-called "free" country recently, it has become highly evident to me that there are some important facts that we need to reminded of.

Here are some reminders for those of us living in the "land of the free:"

First and foremost: You are important and worthy of love.

No matter what the world says about your race, gender, sexuality, social class, body type, opinions, interests, whatever it may be, you are important and you deserve to be here. You deserve to be loved. You deserve to be valued. You deserve to be respected. It is possible to open your heart and choose to love yourself so deeply and fully that you are overflowing with your own glowing sense of self-worth. It is also possible to take that love and distribute it openly to everyone. You can give it to strangers, loved ones, worst enemies, and everyone in between. A world that is peaceful and socially just is pumped so full of love that it becomes the very air that we breathe. Harboring hate of any kind, towards anyone, pumps poison into our world and makes it impossible for anyone to be free.

Just because you have not personally experienced a specific act of injustice does not mean it doesn't exist.

It is easy to have tunnel vision when dealing with matters of societal inequalities. Many people have a hard time seeing outside of their own personal experiences, which is understandable; however, it is important to remind yourself that your lack of experience with a social injustice does not invalidate another person's encounter. If you are someone who denies that racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, etc. exist then you probably feel very uncomfortable and even angry when these topics are brought up. You might feel like those claiming to be oppressed are just overreacting because after all, we live in the land of the free, right? Rather than disproving another human's suffering, you should be open to learning about their experiences so that you can understand where their pain stems from, and then you can do your part as a citizen to create a land that is truly free for all humans. Ignorance is not bliss. When we stick our heads in the sand in matters of inequality we are acting as oppressors and thus eliminating the possibility of peace.

Wearing a uniform and carrying a badge does not give you the right to take an innocent life.

We entrust police officers with weapons in hopes that they will use them to keep us safe; however, sometimes police officers can abuse their power and commit acts that put the lives of our citizens in danger. When a white police officer takes an innocent black life, the odds of that officer paying for their crime are slim to none. This sends the message to our citizens that black lives are less important. Don't be fooled, America. Black lives matter. When we allow racism to poison our perceptions of the value of another's life, we are truly failing as human beings. Police officers, your job is to protect us from danger so that we can live freely. Don't become the very thing that you are meant to protect us from.

It's OK to not be OK.

With what's going on in the world right now, it is likely that a whirlpool of emotions will arise for different people and that's okay. It's OK to not be OK right now. It is OK to turn on the news and feel ashamed of the country that we live in. It is OK to be terrified and furious that your life could be the cost of another's ignorance. It is also OK to be confused and to not know what you are feeling at all. Honor yourself and honor your feelings.

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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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