I cried today on the train. The first half of my commute home was spent catching up with one of my dearest friends- talking about her upcoming powerlifting competition, my dreams of Africa, how wonderful our significant others are, and laughing about my constant need to dive out of the way of flying pigeons.
Moments after the call ended, my stomach still aching from laughing so hard, I looked around the train. Men and women, boys and girls, people of all ethnicity and religion. A man wearing a turban read a book and quietly smiled at passengers walking by. An African American man stood up to offer his seat to the little old lady who had just boarded. A little girl with porcelain skin peered out the window and laughed as the train got faster. I looked out the window myself, only to see two Chicago police officers clapping for a street performer playing the saxophone. This is when I started crying.
In today’s world, you can only be pro-one group. If you stand in support of Muslims, you agree with ISIS and terrorism. If you stand in support of African Americans, you’re against police officers. If you stand in support of police officers, you don’t believe that black lives matter. If you stand in support of Mexian and Latino ethnicity, you support illegal immigration and think everyone should pay for you and your things. If you stand in support of same sex relationships, you’re against God and live a life of sin. If you stand in support of God, you hate members of the LGBT community and those of different beliefs.
Notice I only said “in support of.” Every single one of you reading this are a part of one of of these “groups.” If not one listed, something. You identity as who you are. Whether you stand in support of or are, you are looked at no differently.
No matter what you stand in support of, or even who you are, you’re instantly viewed as being against something else. You’re categorized with the extremists and those who do make bad choices. Blame is sought in these generalizations rather than getting to the root of the problem and understaning that the actions of one do not represent the actions of all.
I cried because we live in this world. I cried because not a day goes by without hearing of the death of someone, of the hate for something, of the fear within humanity. We live in this world where everyone yells:
But look at our world. Do any lives actually matter, today? Lives are taken as quickly as you start your car in the morning. There is no thought. There is no feeling. Actions fueled not only by hate.. but misinformation, fear, adrenaline, etc.
As we make our way through the next half of 2016, I wonder, does any life matter any more? I can only hope that the right voices will be heard. The right actions will be taken. And once again, life can matter.