As most of you know there has recently been a shooting in Orlando in which 50 people in our LGBT community have died. Around the same number are injured. There have been so many harrowing reports on what happened in there whilst the murderer was hunting, patrolling innocent lives until he took their last breath. It took one man to create a wave of pain. It took one broken, wounded person to sink so deeply into his own darkness that this act became not only acceptable to him but his choice. People say that when something like this happens we should look at the people helping and not the horror which I totally understand but I think we all agree now that looking for a silver lining is not enough. Hatred has become a political force on the planet. I have watched people use this murder to further their own agenda, I have looked as people have celebrated this attack on gay folk and I have questioned what I can do to correct what’s happening in our culture. What can be learned from this?
Some say gun control is the answer and I think we all know that it’s been part of the answer for a long time. We have allowed hatred to root itself deep into our governments, we have allowed the bottom line to become money not morality. We have signed petitions, sent “thoughts and prayers” countless times and it’s just getting old. We need something new. A facebook post is not a political protest. A twitter rant does nothing other than provide temporary relief from the pain of looking at what is happening. Sometimes I have looked out at the corruption around us and felt hopeless. What can I do? What can one person do? That’s when I look at what one person did. If one gunman can use hatred to create such a deep wound surely one person can use love to achieve the opposite. We have picked up the broken pieces of our culture for so long we believe it to be an act of love, and don’t get me wrong it is but we stop after the blood has clotted. We need love as a political force on the planet. One person CAN change what’s happening with the same passion as that one person used to inflict. If every person gathered their communities in a way that empowered them all politically and emotionally we would see change on a scale unheard of.
This isn’t just a blog saying “Love can change everything”. This is a post saying that love can be used as a political force to uproot this endless cycle. Love can be the lens through which we stare into the darkness and challenge it. We are all adults here. We are ready for the hard conversations. We can challenge governments, social narratives, religious rhetoric, personal agendas in all forms and if they don’t suit us we can change them. We need to change them. There is a perverse conviction in what the gunman did. He was willing to die for what he believed in. Even though it was malicious, twisted and perverted he was still willing to act. We aren’t. We send a picture on social media. We send a petition. We gather in streets with candles lit. I understand it but it’s not enough. We need to gather in a way that generates the dialogue needed to create real change. We need to uphold each others perspectives in a way that gives them a real legitimate voice in our culture. We can do it. We really can and it’s long past the time we begin. I am here. I am willing and I am ready. Let’s talk.
Ryan James x
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