It's Time for Radical Love and Peace

It's Time for Radical Love and Peace

'Callout culture' is just one of the things that have gone too far in social media and real life.

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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.

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Understanding What It's Like To Live With An Anxiety Disorder

Having no control over your own mind is scary.
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Anxiety disorders are no fun for anyone. Most people don't understand what it's like to be someone who suffers from one. They come without warning and without reason. As I am writing this, I am awake at an ungodly hour due to this stupid battle my mind is having with itself.

Let me help those of you who do not understand what this illness is like.

At random moments, I will get this building worry and fear that something isn't right. Everything could be just perfectly fine, but my mind will trick itself into believing that something is wrong.

It will convince itself that my life is falling apart. I will worry about one thing one minute and talk 90 to nothing then start to worry about another thing. My mind constantly switches back and forth and will convince itself that things are worse than what they really are.

All the while, I'm trying so hard to calm myself down... but it is impossible.

It will send me into a depression. A depression that causes me to hate myself for being so crazy and irrational at times. This depression is the worst part. It causes me to want to space myself from the world and everyone around me. It causes me to feel alone with my illness, and it will cause me to be too terrified to talk those that are closest to me about what it is that I need from them.

I feel needy, and I'm repulsed. But I can't help it.

The hardest thing is for me to find peace with myself during the depression stage. Most times, it switches back to worry and will keep me up all night. Staying up all night causes me to feel irritable the next day, which in turn causes those around me to steer clear. Which in turn causes me to go right back into depression and battle myself for being mentally ill.

You see, there's something those of you who don't suffer from anxiety need to understand: WE CAN'T CONTROL IT.

No, it doesn't make us crazy. We don't need you to tell us that we are acting crazy. We are already well aware of this and telling us that will only make our condition worse.

It will come at the most inconvenient times. When it happens, just please be patient and understanding with us. The attack will eventually pass, and when it does, we'll be back to normal. The worst thing you could do is bring up anything we were previously worried about.

Doing so will only trigger another attack. Understand that it's you and us vs. the illness. We hate it, you hate it, we're on the same team here. The best thing you can do during an attack is to just listen, and know that there are times we need you to hold us, and times we need you to leave us alone. Know that sometimes you'll be the trigger for the attack.

Don't take it personally. And please, for the sake of humanity, don't tell us that we're overreacting, that we need to calm down, or that worrying isn't going to make anything any better. If we could stop worrying, don't you think we would have already?

Dating someone with an anxiety disorder isn't easy, at all. It requires giving that person a lot of attention that you normally wouldn't have to do. That doesn't mean the sufferer constantly needs you to be stuck up his or her butt 24/7, but it does mean that when he or she is under attack you need to be there.

If someone you love is having an anxiety attack, ask them what they need. Most of the time they know what they need from you to help make it better, but they're too scared to tell you. Let them know that you genuinely want to help in any way that you can, and be okay with it if they tell you nothing and to just listen. Get to know their illness better.

Everyone's anxiety disorder is different.

Try to understand what it's like to have absolutely no control over your mind, and be there for that person. They need you most when they feel as though they have turned on themselves.


If you or someone you know is battling an anxiety disorder, seek help.

Cover Image Credit: ankor2 / Flickr

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It's Time To Take More 'Me Time'

Did you ever stop and think about how important "me time" is?

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I know it's not everyone's first priority to think about just hanging out by themselves for a day, but why isn't it? Self-care is so important and some people don't do enough of it. Here are some way you can get some me time in, while still having a productive day.

Me time doesn't just mean relaxing

Yes, sometimes we all need a break, maybe it's just taking a long shower, laying in bed for an extra hour, or treating yourself to a yummy dessert. But, having me time doesn't necessarily mean you can't be productive. Have yourself a day and learn to enjoy your own company. Being around family and friends is certainly nice, but sometimes taking some time to yourself and collecting your own thoughts is good for your health.

It's okay to say no

No thanks. It's something that some people don't realize that it's okay to say no, just let them know beforehand. Such a cleshay, but it's not going to change anything if you say no to hanging out with your friends for one night. Take a night off and put on a movie or your favorite tv show and chill in bed with some of your favorite snacks.

Schedule it

We schedule classes and dentist appointments in our daily lives, but why don't we schedule me time? Sometimes just telling yourself that you're going to give yourself 20 minutes before your next task gives you a time dedicated to relax and collect your thoughts. It may seem funny to think about, but this is how you will be able to fully remind yourself, and hold yourself accountable, to giving yourself some alone time.

Treat yourself

Do it. Buy it. Now. Second guessing is first nature, but who needs a second opinion when your gut is telling you one thing? Once in awhile it's good to get yourself a sweet dessert or the new pair or shoes you've been eyeing.

Reflecting

Journaling is something that I spent a lot of time doing in High School, but once I entered College I never really had the time or motivation to do any reflecting. Reflecting on your life doesn't even mean writing it down in documentation, but even just taking 5 minutes before you fall asleep, let your thoughts sink in and evaluate certain things in your life you want to change, and cherish the moments that you will think about for the rest of your life.

Never feel guilty for taking time to yourself. Others will understand, but in the end, they're not you! Remember that taking me time is important for your overall health and encourage everyone around you to do it. Keep in mind that carving out some time for yourself is vital for the long run. Laugh and smile more.

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