I’ve been thinking about this a lot over the past few days. With everything going on, I keep trying to think of what the solution could be. I immediately think extremes aren’t the answer (don’t worry I’m not going to suggest taking all guns away). So if it’s not an extreme, then what could it be? That takes my mind in the opposite direction. What about a holistic approach? You know, when you try to go to the root of the problem, find out how you can treat that and then symptoms will start to fade and the problem will go away.
So in thinking of holistic approaches, the source of the problem seems to be us not identifying as one. How do we treat that? What if we started to get rid of labels? What if we removed the racial boxes to check on forms? What if we celebrated our differences regularly instead of by special days or months? What if different was considered beautiful? What if we boasted about a country’s diversity? What if we focused more on bonding and building up our fellow man? What if we realized we only advance when everyone is accepted? What if we stand together to include the marginalized? What if as a society we promote praising, encouraging and complimenting others? What if we stopped sharing the videos and recirculating the photos that put people down, make them look bad, and get a laugh at someone’s expense? What if we started each day knowing that we can each make a difference in someone’s life even if it doesn’t make the news? What if we sought to be a helping hand and showcase the best in someone else? What if we gave a little more and spent a little less?
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that racism, discrimination, prejudice, bullying, and other problems seem isolated but they are really interconnected. They all have something in common; lack of unity. It would be harder to treat someone badly if we identified with them and considered them one of our own. These problems stem from a place that lacks love, acceptance, understanding, empathy and kindness. If the positive things were showcased as much as negative things currently are, we would see a change. People’s perceptions would change, morale would be lifted, hope and faith in humanity would be restored and people would assume the best in others. What would happen if as a society we started to shut down negativity? If we didn’t indulge in gossip. If we didn’t thrive off of real life drama. If we didn’t tune into the endless serving of negativity dished out on the news buffet. If we didn’t laugh at the joke that was meant to single out, offend and inflict pain on someone. If we stood up for that person that was being publicly shamed. If we congratulated people for doing the right thing even when it didn’t benefit them. How long would it take before negativity were left without a breeding ground if we shut it down the way we are told to do when a child seeks out negative attention?
We’ve been tuning into it for way too long. We’ve learned to live in a world conditioned to accept and promote hatred, division, segregation, and superiority. We’ve learned to tolerate people getting ahead by putting others down. We’ve seen negative things go viral and get more attention than its deserving counterpart. We’ve accepted the notion that we live in a world where kindness is a rarity and we don’t know where to find it. It’s going to take us doing something different for us to yield different results. How badly do we want it? Do we want to see change or do we want to talk about the negativity and fantasize about change? Do we want to do what it takes or do we want someone to stand up and make a change that we can easily benefit from? I’m not suggesting extreme changes, it’s a simple change that takes commitment and dedication. It’s a change that starts with you and I. It’s understanding that our actions have a direct and indirect impact on those around us. It’s accepting that we create a ripple and it’s up to us if that will be absorbed by the hurricane of negativity or turn into a tidal wave of kindness.
Keeping our thoughts solution focused, what suggestions do you have? What changes can we make to make our neighborhood, society, country and world a better place? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this post and for you to share your ideas in the comments section.