Friday, December 30, 2016

Reflecting on 2016 and looking ahead

I think if 2016 taught us anything, it proved that too many people will give in to their hate and their fear of what they do not understand. Many voters in the US election and the UK Brexit vote joined in a chorus of vile and hateful speech against anything and anyone. And just like at another pivotal time in the past century, people were willing to either embrace the hatred, or just plain ignore it in other people. In our recent past, they too did this just for the sake of choosing something different, or to send a message to the establishment that they were not happy.

If I could broadcast a message to the world, it would be my hope for people to temper their decisions, their acts, and their words, with kindness and empathy. Don't fear the unknown, but learn to understand it. Don't rely on the opinions of others, find your own truth, based on facts from all sides. But always know that your position is not 'right', it is not 'best', it is only your position. If you disagree, you can disagree with respect. It's not necessary to insulate your position with vile and contempt toward others.

When in doubt, choose kindness. Not only is it a wonderful thing to do, it suggests how others should treat you. And with repetition, it can be even more contagious than hate.

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