With the advances made in medicine and technology, the year 2018 is arguably the best time to be a human alive on earth. Yet there's still violence hurting people every day, and when you aren't actively speaking out against what you feel is wrong, or if you aren't deemed "woke" enough, odds are you're going to end up being verbally attacked for your words. There's aggression everywhere, and sometimes it feels like the safest thing to do is to keep quiet, lest you have the wrong opinion. Things like kindness, compassion, and patience for others seem to be missing from things like news outlets, Twitter, and other forms of social media.
But it doesn't have to be this way.
Many people feel strongly about situations, but they aren't spending every waking moment of their lives speaking up about them. That's okay! Not everyone is comfortable being outspoken and speaking up when something's wrong. With the different marches for women and gun control and science, people can be afraid to say that they weren't present at those kinds of things, and I don't like that. Being a vocal protester isn't the way for everyone, and it shouldn't be something that is expected of everyone who has strong feelings about issues. There are other ways to be proactive, such as voting and helping to better inform those around you.
As a part of a younger generation, I want to encourage everyone to listen with care to what those around you are saying. I also encourage everyone to then speak with care. Conversations are capable of fostering communication, but what's happening isn't communication. Instead, it's savage responses. People are punished rather than educated when they're wrong. These snappy or aggressive clapbacks on social media, especially Twitter, but also in real life and face to face conversations. Genuine ignorance on a subject is different from vitriolic hate speech. Opportunities where people are clueless about a topic is a time when an attempt should be made to communicate and educate rather than taken as an opportunity to drag them.
I'm not validating hate speech by saying this. There are many, many people with opinions who I do not think deserve to share their opinions because their opinions come from dangerous places that do not allow room for discussion. What I'm saying is many opportunities to find educated people who are willing to learn more about possible topics are being lost every day. As a country, I believe we are becoming dangerously divided, and I see compassion as the way around that.
Have compassion for yourself and your friends as well as love yourself and your friends. If we love radically and promote peace we can foster spaces for communication and dialogue in a way that is sometimes not possible today. Keep in mind that it's not about being politically correct or a social justice warrior, it's about being a good person. If we can love one another and not let things like religion get in the way of people living their lives to the fullest, then we can get one step farther away from the aggression and violence in today's society.