I awoke this morning, as I have so many others, to see news of the recent terror attack in Belgium. Screens blaring the news that another 34 are dead and nearly 200 injured due to hatred. Throughout my admittedly short life, I’ve woken too many times to CNN breaking news like this—acts of terrorism abroad, shootings at home. It’s unbelievably heartbreaking.
I believe that, just as you need it, life sends you messages. They may be subtle, but they’re there. And today, I needed that message. The last few weeks, I’ve experienced some medical issues that are terrifying to me. I’ve been living under the umbrella of belief that my life is tough (at least now).
My life, and likely yours, is not tough at all. Whatever calamity we may experience in day-to-day life is surely hard for us, but pales in comparison to the hardships that some go through. I’m not saying that these woeful attitudes are selfish or characteristically bad—they just are what they are.
My message came to me today in the horrific form of another terror attack. My issues, scary though they may be to me, can’t even begin to scratch the surface of what constitutes pain and hardship.
I’m stunned that events like this continue to happen. That it’s another day when someone wakes up with their husband, wife, child taken away because of another person’s distorted beliefs.
Today, and every day that a horrific event like this occurs, I ask you to grieve for those that hurt, those that have lost loved ones, and hold your own families a little tighter.
But more importantly, I ask you to remember that love, not hate will save this world. Inclusion of other beliefs, religions, races—anyone that is different—is not a chore or something that would be nice, it’s something that must be done. Hate straps bombs to chests and puts guns in the wrong hands. Hate allows friends to become enemies and makes hurtful words become acceptable. Hate injures bodies and spirits, and can forever change the course of a person’s life.
I believe it’s important to look at the world critically and not take everything at face value, but I believe this to be even more valuable: embrace the world and all its glorious differences with open arms. Banish the word hate from your vocabulary and instead look at the world with acceptance.
Love heals. Love persists. Love brings people together in times of hardship.
Love never fails.
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Writer, editor, and storyteller living in the Twin Cities.