Today I’ve been struggling with the dichotomy of the human existence.
(This post does contain more mature topics than those I usually write about, please use discretion.)
A few hours ago, I was sincerely contemplating how people could be so terrible, in light of the events that have struck America and its families this week. Then this evening, I genuinely asked myself how people could be so good, after experiencing loving interactions with my family members in Christ.
I feel confused and I also feel clarity. I feel sadness, but also joy. Anger, but also love.
So I wanted to write a little bit about what we are to do with this confusion, clarity, sadness, joy, anger, and love. I want to recommend four things that are so easy they just might save us all.
As a follower of God, an educator, a musician, and a friend, I might be a little biased in thinking that the four things the world needs now are God, education, art, and friendship based in genuine, self-sacrificing love. But as this is my blog, you are stuck with my opinions! However, I hope you might agree with some of them as we all strive to make this human experience more joyful, peaceful, and full of trust and cooperation.
1. Let’s base our relationships on love.
I don’t know what else I can say about this. It seems so elementary and yet there is so much violence, hatred, and just downright shadiness in the way we interact with one another in the world today. Although we all know this is harmful, we can’t help but put our own needs, prejudices, and fears above our conviction to do the right thing. Let’s flip that around, okay? Let’s let our conviction to do the right thing and love others surpass our own needs (yes, I said needs), prejudices, and fears. Whatever this means for you and your life, go out and do it.
2. Let’s create and utilize art that is encouraging, reflective, POSITIVE, and honest.
Listen, I am a very un-picky musician. I love just about anything and can respect most types of music, even if it’s something I don’t prefer. What I cannot respect, however, is music and other forms of art that perpetuate hatred, violence, inequalities, and abuse (physical, mental, sexual, or otherwise). While these things do exist in our world and should be discussed and portrayed in our art forms, they should not be praised or exalted. I am sick of songs, movies, TV shows, books, comics, and other medias that cast stereotypes and hate instead of calling such things into question.
I am tired of hearing songs that objectify women (and men) on the radio and then hearing about the Stanford sexual assault case. I know that bad music and rape are not mutually exclusive, but if you think that our art does not have an effect on our culture, I have no problem telling you you are wrong. Our art is reflective of and effective on our culture and it is high time we put more stock in making it positive.
3. Let’s educate.
Teachers, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends, children, servants, politicians, and preachers of the world, let’s EDUCATE our loved ones on the things that are and aren’t acceptable.
Whether you are a Christian or not, believe in the sanctity of the Bible or not, let’s educate one another on what it means in Romans 12:18 when it says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
Education is perhaps the best gift humans have to thoroughly change the world from the inside out.
4. Let’s actively pray to God.
I had a wonderful conversation with my friends today about the causes and effects of the massacre in Orlando that occurred in the early hours of today. We were all heartbroken, outraged, and confused by the situation and wondered what would lead a person to create so much violence, death, and turmoil. Then, we all wondered how we could change it, make it better, fix it. Fix something, at least. Although we all had some valid points and ideas, I was drawn back to God. To prayer. To faith in the one who can see our pain and turn it into peace.
I think it is humbling that in times of great pain, prayers go up around the country and the world for those in need. #PrayforOrlando is currently being used on social media regarding the victims, the injured, and the families involved. I love that prayer is seen as something powerful, something impactful, something worthwhile. I personally prayed the names of the victims out loud to God, not because he doesn’t know them, but because I believe in the power of prayer and the need to be deliberate in my conversations with God.
However, I admit that all too often I come to God as a last resort. I try to fix the problem myself first and then pray to God when my attempts fail. As people, I’m realizing that our attempts keep failing over and over again. Instead of only turning to God in times of pain and failure, I want to be proactive in presenting all requests, praises, thanksgivings, and griefs to Him. He alone has the power to transform our lives, and thus, transform our world. So let’s pray for Orlando, pray for victims of abuse, pray for peace, pray for understanding, and pray for the courage to act on things that must be done to heal this world.
Thank you for reading and for your commitment to make the world a better place. I know you want that, too…