Trying to find unbiased stories in the vast seas of accusation is nearly impossible and the only way to ascertain the truth is to research both sides and discard what we find to be false even if it makes us feel good to think it. Everything you read, watch or listen to has an agenda. Everything. It's up to you to sift through the obscuring fog of opinion and find that kernel of truth that lay somewhere within. As this year draws to a close, we can look back and see an incredibly turbulent year. One with many lessons to teach us if we are ready to become students and study them.
The immediacy of the Internet has ushered in an age where it's possible to send out your thoughts in an instant, before you even have a chance to think. So much of what is out there for you to peruse is written in the heat of the moment before the author really had any time to process what they have written. Have you noticed how many apologies are issued these days after distasteful comments, stories or accusations are made? That's because it takes time for our brains to work. People have let themselves become unthinking- sending out hateful or just plain lousy statements and ideas before their brains can even catch up.
It's common knowledge that anger clouds judgement, yet we are now living in a society being powered by it. Watching the stories developing in our news this year from around the world, it's incredible how much venom dominates our headlines, how much ignorance exists in our "viral" stories and how much hate and fear exists in our society.
In the race to be the most relevant, to gather the most likes and to maybe just maybe do something that goes viral we have begun to sacrifice our humanity. We are severing the bond that joins us to one another and ensures our survival as a species. Only in the absence of understanding, community, love and respect do horrible acts of violence, genocide and cruelty happen. Only when it becomes us against them do we transform into monsters.
The only way to ascertain the truth is to research both sides and discard what we find to be false even if it makes us feel good to think it.
Only by working together and recognizing our unique and individual strengths will we continue to overcome. Only by remembering that different is great and that every single one of us here on earth is so much more similar than we might first believe will we grow towards a healthier future. A future of caring, love, respect and happiness. There is literally nothing more important the gift of life that we each hold onto for what always seems like too short of time.
Today might be broken, but we can all begin to work together to start fixing each of our tomorrows. The solution isn't simple, but it begins with respect. Every choice you make each day adds up to what you next days will look like. If you want them to become brighter, you must begin to shine a light. Start questioning everything you read or watch. When you read a divisive article that angers you, do a little homework and see how much fact there is in it. Stop watching hostile television, stop clicking on inciting headlines and begin to change the perspective you hold on the world.
This all begins with you, when you begin to think critically about all of the information that you come into contact with on a daily basis you'll find that everything isn't nearly as cut and dried as everyone might have you believe. There are always many sides to a story, but before you choose one, at least make sure that you are choosing based on your own beliefs and not just the ones that someone else came up with.
We were gifted with an incredible intelligence, stop letting it be lazy and start using it to create the world we want to live in. Remember that in our differences we can find strength and that what makes America the place so many people from around the world want to come is our freedom to think for ourselves and the ability create the life you want to life. It's time we stop being so apathetic about the freedom many of our ancestors died for and started participating in it with clear minds and full hearts.