• Sahar Abdulaziz

If We Are Brave Enough

We exist in difficult and glaringly turbulent times. As much as technology has made the art of living easier by leaps and bounds, it has been remiss in finding a way to tame the shards of human behavior that remain atrophied by bigotry and prejudice. We remain a nation collectively walking backward, hell-bent on destroying whatever the masses deem too different or dangerous. Those who lead by ignorance are ironically the loudest in perpetrating a gale of negative behavior, while those whose only desire is to tread this life in purposeful peace seem almost consumed by the surrounding hate that permeates every fiber of their being.

This is not the world I thought I would grow older in. I had expectations and dreams, hopes and prayers. Navigated naively by youth to truly believe that at the core, human beings were inherently good in heart. That merely with the final disclosure of truths, many, no matter how wrong or wicked would be inclined to self-correct. But I was wrong.

I sincerely believed that the hatred of yesterday would dissipate and eventually dissolve under the glare of the collective contempt, and be replaced by inclusiveness, empathy, respect, and compassion.

I wanted with all of my heart to believe that children would grow up in a world where character was the measure of a person’s worth and not their complexion.

I dreamt of a world that no longer allowed greed to remain in power, and where homelessness, hunger or war was only yesterday’s problems.

I wished for a place that no longer criminalized those who were hurting, suffering, battling with diseases that mercilessly controlled their bodies and emotions.

Instead, we live in times of extreme paradoxes; where murder is disguised as suicide, rape is masked as consensual sex, and prejudice masquerades as tolerance. We live by the deafening rants of the entitled screaming victimization and the genuine sufferers yelling back, most often from their graves. We live in chaotic times where the image on a screen dictates a person’s appeal more than what resides in their soul.

Today our streets are filled to capacity with anger, despair, the destitute, and the wayfarer, as existing acts of blatant treason and treachery are derisorily relabeled as cherished history. Those in support of their hate-filled messages viciously battle to keep their symbols of pain waving freely in the skies, the same skies we all must share. Enjoying the torment upon those who continue to suffer under the evil they represent and spew.

Women continue to be marginalized and objectified, seen as easily replaceable while our children are left helpless to navigate through the attacks of those who are permitted to use bullying to control and command. Our youth, desperate to begin their futures are forced to scramble, blindly committing to levels of debt beyond their imagination for a promise of a life that simply does not exist. Sold a bag of rocks, used later on to keep them enslaved to the arrears and weighted to the holder.

We exist in difficult and glaringly turbulent times, but they are of our [humankinds] making, our design. For all the upset, these times cannot escape the fact that they remain as variables, meaning they have the capacity to change- if we want them to. If we believe they can.

We do not have to allow hate to be our go-to protocol. Division does not have to be our mandate. We have the power to change the conversation- if we are brave enough. The question is, are we?

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