I am over all the hate, ignorance, and bigotry that spews into the world. All I see in headlines are hate crimes, wars, and people calling the cops on each other because of cultural differences. So why isn’t it that, as a collective group of people, we can’t take a deep breath and just show a little empathy and love for those around us? It’s not that hard. I promise.
Empathy feels like such a lost practice nowadays, especially on the internet. People don’t even hide behind the anonymity the internet can provide anymore. Instead, they spew hate from accounts with their full names, occupations, and every other detail of their lives. The internet is a cesspool of opinions where if I don’t agree or support what you are saying, then I must let you know how wrong you are or how bad of a person you are for believing what you believe.
I don’t know about you, but always thinking everyone is wrong and evil sounds tiresome. It’s like holding a grudge and letting hate dictate your life when you could show love and compassion instead. You might not agree with someone, but maybe show a little civility and act like an adult instead of throwing a temper tantrum online.
Everyone is going to be different. There is no getting around that. It’s probably the truest thing anyone can say. So why do we feel everyone needs to fit into our perception of the world? Just because I view things one way doesn’t mean you have to view them the same way. Thinking everyone needs to hold the same views as you only prove how big our egos and pride have gotten. “I’m right. You’re wrong.” should be Twitter’s catchphrase.
Now letting others believe what they want can be a slippery slope. If someone harbors a hateful view, we should take the time to show love to them. Hate begets hate. The only way to overcome ignorance is through educating people, but you can’t educate people if you are too busy hating on them for their ignorant views. (I know, it’s easier said than done. But long-lasting change is never easy to accomplish.)
If you can accept that others will be different from you and you don’t try to change or enforce your views on those differences, then the world becomes a much more civil place filled with less hate.
I know I was badmouthing the internet earlier in this article, but it has its pros and cons. The internet can be such a great tool for educating yourself. Ignorance comes from a place of not knowing any better, so if you can educate your worldview to incorporate more than what your parents only taught you, then you might be surprised at how those differences between people are that big of a deal. Here’s an article from Psychology Today that gives some book recommendations to help expand your worldview. At some point, ignorance becomes a choice of stubbornness and pride, leading to divisiveness. As I said earlier, that seems like a hard way to live.
I’m not asking you to go out and hug everyone you see on the street, but show a little civility. You don’t need to agree with your neighbor on everything to be cordial with them. And it takes less effort to show love than hate. Harboring hate induces stress, whereas showing love leaves you feeling great. We all love those video montages of kids running to their military parents when they get home from deployment instead of watching someone getting jumped in the street. To overcome ignorance by educating yourself or allowing someone to educate you and show a little compassion. We’ve all lived different lives, so put yourself in someone else’s shoes before you go around being a hater.