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In a Culture of Violence and Hate, We Must Normalize Love, Compassion and Kindness
~ Debby Wyman Ball

In a world that can feel like a culture of hate,

violence, aggression, war, anger, it is not hard

to understand why so many are feeling a

strong sense of sadness, discouragement,

hopelessness. So many feel the world has

gone crazy, that no one cares, that people are

only concerned with self and total disregard

for others. There seems to be so much anger, hate, racism, misogyny, inequality and violence toward LGBTQ people, religious/spiritual discrimination and/or violence toward the practice of such. So many feel lost and don't know what to do, or feel that nothing can be done to change the violence and hatred that seem to be so rampant right now. We find ourselves in a world that has come to increasingly accept, embrace and foster a culture that normalizes that hate and violence. Sadly, more and more people who feel nothing can be done are living in fear and/or apathy.

We are not condemned to accept these things as normal. Each one of us has the ability to make an impact, in different ways, some with more strength than others, but we can all begin in some way. We don't accept normalizing, hatred, racism, fear of other cultures and spirituality. We begin by embracing compassion and kindness. We model and teach those values to our children and grandchildren. And we don't place the blame on youth today. We see through a lens of truth. This is not new and is not a burden to be placed on the shoulders of young people. We take up the torch. We need to normalize loving, compassionate, kind behavior.

Many people will make negative, blaming and disparaging comments about "kids today". Well folks, it's not the kids. It's the parents, grandparents and all those grown up folks setting the examples for them. Too many people, way too many, are spewing hate and violence and behaving in atrocious ways and words when others don't agree with them. Too many are bad mouthing those who have different views, different beliefs, different cultures, different religions or non-religions, different traditions. And the children grow up hearing/seeing it all. Stop blaming the kids, stop seeing them as the problem. Recognize just where the probably really stems from. If the world around them doesn't do better, understand that the children will continue to mirror the ugly that is the example placed before them. Even in talking, be mindful of your words, your intent...find compassion and echo that rather than hateful sentiment...the children are watching/hearing.

It's about compassion, kindness and love. Doing what is best is being the best we can. There are so many displaying acts of courage and empathy. Celebrate that. Echo those actions. Honor those people. Our humanity is gauged by our acts of selflessness, for our compassion, for our ability to respond with kindness, for our love toward all humanity, toward all beings that we share our planet with, and for our planet. We must reach deep inside of our own self and draw upon our compassion and help others to find theirs, to help rather than encourage a dis-compassionate, heartless society or the culture of hate and violence. Normalize love, compassion and kindness in a world so in need of those very qualities.