We cannot thrive as a people if we refuse to see where we’ve gone astray.
I myself have been angry and heartbroken, furious and afraid, negligent and indulgent, filled with doubt and anxiety, and I have allowed myself—at times to be pulled into the rhetoric that does not lift up but rather does not push the conversation forward in a constructive and positive way.
I see it and hear it and experience this sense of aimlessness plunging through society like a wounded animal praying for an act of generosity.
These times we live in do seem perilous, and it’s a call of strength to siphon the hate that is so readily spewed into forums of social media— those that propagate racism, sexism, homophobia, elitism, and apathy—and we must find a way to change it into something beautiful. Otherwise the toxicity of it all will blind, deafen, and snuff out the good, but we mustn’t give in to that dialogue and instead find the courage to find the beauty that we all know exists in humanity.
Our species is capable of such good. Of such promise.
This year as the world watches governments crumble, democracy falter, justice waver, and awards shows that continue to silence diversity and gender equality, we cannot afford to walk through this world any longer with eyes closed or with our gaze looking downward.
We have to rise together. We have to take responsibility for our actions as a species and demand that humanity strip away the conditioned divisiveness and instead willingly participates in a language of unity.
I personally hope—and promise—to use my voice to share stories of those who need someone to speak out on their behalf. To tell stories of compassion, even if it means we must first see the bewildering ugliness of man’s behavior; to tell stories of love even if it means we must first address the astonishing hate; to tell stories of hope even if it means showing the devastation of feeling hopeless; and to do so with eyes wide open, heart unafraid, and a mind that resonates with one simple truth: we must come together.
We must see each other.
It’s not easy but it’s a lifetime easier than the spiral of heartache, of disappointment, of cowardice, and futility we’ve come to accept as normal.
Be brave. Be bold. Be bright and glorious. Be on the side of history that unites, not divides.
We can’t afford to accept any other reality.
This is my letter to you…
all of you.