There’s no point in being in denial – the world is not as good as it can be. Atrocities take place everyday, yet people focus only on the ones that may be the most heartbreaking. My own heart broke when I saw those horrendous images coming in from Syria, as it breaks everyday with the realization of how truly helpless we are. We cannot stop the conflict; we can only watch everyday as numbers pour in of the casualties. Don’t let this take away your humanity or your compassion. Don’t let the numbers blind you from the true human losses that are experienced everyday.
People who say that western countries should put themselves first appall me. People who live in relatively safe countries like the US and Canada – where we are not under threat of being bombed – are privileged. We are fortunate. Just because we are fortunate, that means we should not assist those who are less fortunate? That makes no sense. At the end of the day, we are all human, regardless of race, religion and nationality. When you say America should put itself first, the needs of its citizens first, you are ignoring people who are much less fortunate than you.
Xenophobia is spreading, which is truly horrible for future generations. Will we go back to distrusting those who look different from us? Is that the progress we are setting for the future? History will not be kind to countries that are condoning these kinds of practices. Attacks like Syria show the need for everyone to come together and fight. And when I mean fight, I am talking about world leaders fighting against any ideology that preaches hate against any type of people.
We need to prove that we are better than the people we fight. The xenophobia proves the opposite. When you discriminate due to skin color, you are encouraging the spread of that mindset to other people. And due to recent events, it’s become more urgent than ever to combat racism and Islamophobia. And by combat, I mean changing minds and beliefs one person at a time. I truly believe that if we go out there and spread a message of love and harmony, if we bring communities together (people afraid of terrorism & Muslims afraid of being racially profiled) and let them express their thoughts, we will be able to change mindsets. This is not a physical war, thus it is much harder. But it is one that we are in.