To speak is not the only way we can be heard. For me, I’ve found my voice through writing. And when I found my voice, I also came to understand the importance of listening. This world is sick and has been telling us for a long time. It has also told us the cause of its illness: us.
What we perceive as human nature is really a scar. And that of civility and compromise are bandages placed on open wounds and amputated ligaments, neither of which does anything to stop the blood leakage. Unfortunately, we lack empathy as we see suffering everywhere but only mend to the suffering we’re not affected by. Or in other words, the suffering we cause. Which is why many see the separation of families at the American border as tragic, calling for the abolishment of ICE; while the separation of families by a flawed judicial system and the many escalating wars overseas are only tragic enough to merit meaningless debates about reforming prisons, to simply lock people up in a “better” way.
A wolf is strong because they know one thing: The power of a leader’s howl is meaningless if they’re not willing to protect the pack. Therefore, we must speak up for what we believe in, in whatever way possible to make our voices heard.
When hatred and chaos is everywhere, we should understand the necessity of being quiet. Indeed, the arrogance in how we speak turns into carelessness through our actions. In my article Does “Freethinking” come at a cost, I discussed how being argumentative had become trendy. With no regard to fully understand whatever topic is being discussed, the confidence people have to argue amongst each other as if they’re a scholar on said topic has become the norm. No wonder everything feels chaotic, as we care more about being right than doing right.
The problem social media has created is that while it allows more human connection, we’ve become even more shallow and self-serving. We refuse to see the errors in our ways; instead, we justify our wrong-doings simply because we (or enough of us) have found them essential in some way. We have this “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” mindset on how we should live. However, just because something doesn’t kill us, doesn’t mean it’s good for us either.
We behave as beasts, believing ourselves good-hearted people. Easily impressed by gnashing of teeth and sharpened claws, we’ve forgotten how to be pack animals. Or maybe we never learned how. Maybe this is who we are: lone wolves devouring everything to satisfy our appetites.
So I ask is this truly human nature? How foolish of us to think a past born of slavery, genocide, and war can breed a future of love and kindness. We cannot make the world beautiful as darkness cannot make rainbows, no matter how good of an artist we think we are. And yet, I find myself searching for a deeper meaning in colors. To remind myself: red can mean more than blood; blue doesn’t have to be reminder of tears. Most importantly, to show the world; black isn’t the absence of color, but the unity of them.
Yet it seems, we value self-righteousness more than self-reflection—refusing to accept our own evil makes it hard to bring about good in the future. We must understand the past is not something that just happened to us, but in truth, what we allowed to happen. Which leads me to question: how can we bring about change if we won’t admit how we made things the way they are?
It’s not a coincidence that those who know nothing always have the most to say. Ironically, yet sadly enough, these people tend to be in leadership positions: political and educational. How dangerous it is to place faith in people who only pretend to be god to be worshipped as one.
All I seem to do nowadays is retreat into deep silence. A place where I learn to love myself despite my meekness. Where it’s okay that I don’t have any answers to all the ills plaguing the world. Don’t you feel this way also? To know we’re the infected: to be human in the way we breathe but not in how we think. Our need for human connection as illusory as the world peace our world leaders claim we’re fighting for.
This is how I discover peace within silence. To not act out of impulse: that one’s politics must be more than reactionary. When people become more corrupt, outrage alone cannot lead to a real revolution. Likewise, in order to rebuild anything we must be willing to destroy. Whatever notion we have to reform anything made to oppress is idiocy as those suffering will continue to suffer. Even now, as the world reveals itself more and more as the monster its always been, I remember: no matter how pretty you make a wolf, won’t make them any less violent.