Since I was a little girl, I have heard about shootings in the news. With each one that passes, I become less surprised but no less frustrated, saddened and angry. In the case of the Orlando mass shooting, what ultimately led to the devastating loss of life was the refusal of one man to accept others that were different than him.
Refusing to accept others is dangerous. Using religion as an excuse to not accept others that are different is dangerous. Letting basically whoever wants a gun to buy one is dangerous.
We can’t just pray anymore for the world to get better. We can’t just send good thoughts, or tweet about how the world is a dark place or (in my case) writing a blog post. In no way are these things are bad- social media is how we show solitude, spread awareness of issues and spark debates with one another. Praying helps us keep our faith.
But now we must back up these words with actions. And at times like these that can seem nearly impossible. What can we do to help change things? How can I, just one person, make a difference?
Spread peace. Speak words of kindness. Teach others that ignorance and hostility will no longer be accepted.
Pressure those who represent your city and state to make a change when it comes to firearms. Vote in elections.
Above all, accept each other regardless of race, sexual orientation, class, gender, et cetera. Be an example for others. If we want change, we must change ourselves first.
Even though you may feel like the ripples you’re making are too small for them to get anywhere, never lose hope. Staying hopeful in a world like this is just half the battle.
If you want to learn more about the Orlando shooting victims, click here.