My heart is breaking today after the events that have transpired in our country this week. Our country, whose independence we celebrated only four days ago, prides itself on unity and equality; yet we have become so divided in the past two years that it feels like we are stepping back in time. Race wars, and the violence that accompanies them, seemed to be something that we would only learn about in history books instead of experience in our everyday lives. I am not naïve; in no way did I think that racism had been eradicated. Racism is alive and rampant in this world, being highlighted in our current presidential election and one of the reasons that Britain just left the EU. But the violence and killings is not something I thought I would witness.
I just watched an interview with a former marine who was at the Dallas rally with her children last night. The rally was organized to protest police shootings in Minnesota and Louisiana earlier this week. People were saddened and angry by these events and needed an outlet for their grief. The marine described the event as peaceful, and based on love. She said the police officers were taking pictures, giving hugs and high fives, and offering their support and protection. For five of their lives to be taken in the city that they were serving and protecting is devastating. There is so much anger in our country right now, and while the majority of people are expressing their sadness and anger in a peaceful manner, it is terrifying to think about the people among us who are willing to commit mass murder just to make a point.
There are obvious lessons that can be learned from this situation, and it is up to us as Americans to take heed. Be kind. Be understanding. Be empathetic. Try to rebuild relationships, rather than destroy them even more. Even in your office, where you think you might not have an opportunity to make a difference, you can take the lead to promote love and compassion. You go to work every day with the same people, but how well do you know them? How well do you know what their daily lives outside of work are like? You never know the kind of hatred your coworkers might experience on a daily basis just because their skin color is different. Reach out. Let the people in your office, regardless of race, know that you support them. In this time of tragedy, stay positive. Remember that most people will not resort to this kind of behavior; most people want a solution and are willing to find it in a peaceful way. Do not lash out at someone just because they share a race with someone who did something terrible. Remember that they are just as saddened by the situation as you are, and that you can work together to make your office and life a peaceful and safe place.
God bless all of the families and victims involved in the shootings that have taken place this week; you are in our prayers.