I write this because, while I love this incredible country that I live in, I feel like we have gotten a little off. A Confederate flag. A word. A term. A feeling. An opinion. These are the things that we focus on. These are the things that we see. Our word vs. their word. Our kind vs. their kind. Our wrong vs. their wrong. Our right vs. theirs. These are things that we have seen on our screens and newsfeeds as well as heard in our community and from our government for years. These are the only things that we as a society let ourselves see, hear and know.
We tell ourselves that "different" is a problem, that having a problem with different is a problem, that a solution must be found - but we don't search for it. We campaign on our Twitter accounts with hashtags spouting about forefathers who we haven't even taken the time to research or know, write our scalding Facebook posts, and shake our heads at the state of society, yet we fill up our days binging on Netflix or YouTube, catching up on the latest celebrity breakup or DIY tutorial.
While I, myself, have spent many days watching more episodes of Friends in one sitting than is probably healthy and consider YouTube part of my daily routine, I find myself today, thinking. Thinking about Charleston, Rachel, Caitlyn, Ferguson, Baltimore, Sandy Hook. I find myself thinking about us. All of us, and I can't help but think that we can do better.
We can do better than hashtags. We can do better than reposts. We can do better than caring about one another long enough to post online about it, and then turning to pick up the remote. Can't we? Don't we, as a society, have that power? To make change? Didn't one letter from Taylor Swift change the dynamic between multi-billion dollar companies and musicians forever - and isn't she (even with her money and fame) one of us? Didn't America come together time and time again to help rebuild communities struck by natural disasters? (I know we did; my home was one helped.) Don't we have the power to make or break the career of a movie, album or artist, simply through what we decide to buy, listen to and see?
Because this is what I see.
I see Rachel Dolezal. In our small corners of the world, it is our responsibility as human beings to make sure that everyone we come into contact with knows that it's who they are that's enough to make a difference.
I see Caitlyn and the fact that people in our communities need to be told that they are loved, seen and heard every day.
I see Charleston, Ferguson, Baltimore, Sandy Hook and the fact that if we, as a society, don't do more than sit behind our computers all day and critique one another's political correctness, nothing will change. Lives, our lives, will continue to be lost. Our tears will continue to be shed. And the word "enough" will never be more than just a word. Because right now, from what I see, It - all of it - is enough. It's more than enough. And we have the power to make it so together. We just have to open up our eyes and choose to see. No more excuses; no more words. Open your eyes, America, and see.
With all of the love in the world,