It’s hard to even know what to write right now. I can’t even begin to say anything that would take away the pain and shock of the terrible tragedy that happened in Orlando this past weekend. While I can’t say anything to make sense of this awful massacre that took place in my former hometown, I do have some important reminders for people during this difficult and confusing time.
The first thing to remember is that this act was not carried out by the Muslim community. This act was done by a man with ISIS beliefs who was intolerant and violent. My fear for this nation is that we will be set back in our views of the Muslim community and create a prejudice of them because of the acts of this one man with extremist beliefs that are not held by all and even most of the Muslim community. We can’t allow acts like this to create further intolerance and hate within our communities and drive us further apart as Americans.
The second important thing to remember is that hate begets hate and violence begets violence. This man carried a hateful heart and intolerance within him, and the result of that was absolute desolation to the lives of so many Orlando residents. On the flip side of this, love also begets love. Let’s not reproduce the hate and violence that this man carried out. Sometimes “revenge” is not what we are truly after. Nothing can right a wrong like this, we can only work toward healing. While we are all outraged and deeply saddened by what has happened, let us take away the lesson that hate and violence only hurt and are not accurate representations of our true selves and beliefs. Love is so much more powerful. If this one man can create such desolation with his hate, how much more could we create if we united in love?
Lastly, as I was sitting yesterday waiting for all of my Orlando friends to check in as “safe” on Facebook, I realized that the effects of this tragedy reach even farther than the City Beautiful. As a united nation, we are all devastated and grieving for the terrible loss in our country. If you are struggling with this tragedy and need to talk to someone, I urge you to please reach out and find help. These tragedies cannot be made sense of, and making peace within ourselves can be especially challenging during this time. Please do not hesitate to talk this through with a counselor if you feel you need to do so.
April Chase ❤