The powers that be in this country appear to have a vested interest in keeping us divided, fearful, distrustful of one another and misinformed on the facts.
Why is that?
This desperate desire to stoke division and hatred among Americans is both obvious and intentional.
Their actions remind me of the cruelly malicious, yet comically inept undertakings of cartoon villains—except this is real-life.
The end-result of negative pot-stirring and continuous race-baiting is very serious, and potentially life-threatening.
True Leaders Unite Instead of Divide
At any other time in history, our country’s leaders would seek to unite us. Bringing us together to collectively mourn the lives lost and forever changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Provide financial support for the everyday person during this unprecedented economic downturn. And would seek to heal the country in the face of racial injustice and brutality.
So why are they doing the exact opposite, in the most destructive way possible?
It seems their self-interest is showing—and it’s not a good look.
We need to reject these attempts at division and misinformation and choose humanity and unity instead.
Humanity is defined as the quality or condition of being human.
The values of humanity are represented by virtues like kindness, compassion, sympathy, respect, acceptance, consideration, appreciation, listening, openness, affection, empathy, and love towards other human beings. These human virtues are what should guide us as we interact with one another.
In contrast, the loss of one’s humanity, according to V. V. Raman, Emeritus Professor of Physics and Humanities at the Rochester Institute of Technology, “occurs when love and respect for fellow humans turn to hate and contempt for whole groups.”
Whether those “whole groups” are based on skin color, ethnic background, religion, place of birth, gender, socio-economic class, or sexual identity—directing and promoting generalized hatred and contempt towards them, robs you of your humanity.
Use Humanity Check-Ins to Guide Your Responses
When unspeakable situations occur, like:
- Racial injustice, brutality, and the senseless killing of unarmed people of color
- Violent assaults against peaceful protestors
- Lack of care or concern about the rampant spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes, prisons, places of employment, and communities
- Lying about that rampant spread of COVID-19
- Keeping children and families seeking refuge in cages
- The cover-up and denial of justice for molested, assaulted and sexually trafficked children
- Wealthy corporations receiving million-dollar bailouts, while everyday citizens are expected to survive on $1200 for months and many small businesses are shut out from receiving funds entirely
- Elected officials putting their self-interests above the needs of their constituents and the American people
Instead of immediately “othering” these situations, take the time to ask yourself:
How would I feel if that happened to me or to someone I love?
Try to empathize with others and their experiences, and let the ability to see things from another’s perspective, guide your understanding, responses, and actions.
Take care and stay safe!