by Claire Jackson
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”1 In the wake of the events in Charlottesville and Barcelona many facts have spilled out, but they why to these stories still seems unanswered. These two events have affected millions of people across the globe and has raised new questions about how we treat our fellow citizens. Together as one community we must stand together to drive out this hate. While much sadness and confusion is hanging over our heads there are simple things you can do everyday to make those around us feel loved and supported. Like Martin Luther King Jr. said only love can drive out hate, so if we want to see a change in this world we must first begin to spread more love.
While it seem that terror attacks have become a common part of the daily news, each new attack seems to drive a deeper divide between the citizens of the United States. We cannot control when the next terror might happen, but we can control how we treat those around us.
Today I encourage you to go up to a friend and or family member who might be struggling or directly affected by these attacks and tell them, first, you love them, and second, that you are open to sit down and hear their frustrations. If this doesn’t fit your fancy at least be a positive role model in your community. For example, you and your family could volunteer at a local food bank (e.g. Arlington Food Assistance Center), volunteer at an animal shelter, tutor younger kids, or read to the disabled or elderly people.
Whether we recognize it or not, these events affect our daily lives. The stress of hearing about them takes a toll on all of us. This type of news often makes people more irritable and frustrated. While we all have the right to feel these emotions it is important that we express them in a more civilized manner. Being able to communicate our frustrations makes it easier to work with others to produce positive change.
It is crucial that everyone not only understands the facts but also promotes positivity in the wake of them. No two people have the same views on each issue and that why it is important that we speak up for what we believe in a peaceful way. We must also listen to others and take into account their views just as much as our own. Just remember that someone, somewhere is struggling and you can be that hope and positive change for them.