Today was supposed to be different…
I’ve been excited about today for a while. As a self-described musical theatre nerd, The Tonys are must see TV for me. And as one tiny piece of the Hamilton fan base, I knew tonight I would be able to watch a performance by the cast. With tickets to the show going as high as $10,000 for Lin Manuel Miranda’s supposed last show, I figured this might be my only chance to somewhat be in “The Room Where It Happens” (insert smirk emoji). I woke up this morning with the intent of posting something encouraging to my social media, and then engaging with other musical theatre nerds about their favorite musicals and such. It’s a Sunday – I was going to rest, relax, and enjoy my day.
Today was supposed to be different…
As I was going to post, my eyes caught a headline and my heart sank.
20 Dead in Orlando Gay Nightclub shooting
My heart sank. Within minutes, the number of victims had skyrocketed to 50, with another possible 53 injured. My eyes glistened with tears. My head spun. Then I read the shooter had “Islamic inclinations” or something similar to that terminology and my head dropped. And I knew in my heart that now it was going to be a religious and political war.
I don’t talk about politics nor religion, because you are always going to offend someone; especially in the day and age we live in. As you’ve read from previous posts, my intentions are to encourage and challenge you and possibly bring a smile to your face and laugh from your heart. And honestly, we don’t need politicians telling us about more guns or less guns. We don’t need people saying, “Down with Muslims” or “Every religion has terrorists” or hundreds of other things I’ve read today from people online. Were 50 members of the LGBT community killed today, another 53 wounded? Yes. Did an Islamic terrorist commit this heinous crimes? Yes.
BUT WE ARE MORE THAN JUST LABELS
Today, 50 families lost a human being. Regardless of white, black, gay, straight, bi, Christian, Jew, Gentile, Atheist, Muslim. 50 families lost a son, a brother, a daughter, a sister, a best friend, a lover, a partner. Today 50 families aren’t whole anymore because evil won.
You know what? Scratch that. Today, we all lost someone. HUMANITY lost brothers and sisters.
I hate that my LGBT friends are now scared that it could be them next time.
I hate that my Islamic friends are now a little more worried of being stereotyped as terrorists.
I hate that so many people lost their lives today over foolishness
I hate that we still see people with these labels instead of just as people.
One of my favorite Harper Lee quotes is this:
I think there’s just one kind of folks: Folks
I fear that war will never cease. I fear that we’re too damaged as a nation and a world. But I refuse to stop trying. I refuse to not fight for love. I refuse to not fight for freedoms for all our brothers and sisters, regardless of religion, race, sex, and orientation. I refuse to not try to shine light into a dark world and I refuse to not let my brothers and sisters know that they have at least one person in their corner who is always ready with a smile and a hug.
We have to fight hate with love. We have to fight darkness with light. We have to stop letting differences blind us to the fact that, at the end of the day, we’re all just human beings with the same wants, dreams, and desires as everyone else.
Show kindness to strangers. Show kindness to people who are different than you. Treat everyone how you want to be treated. Who knows? If we all do that, maybe these things will stop.
I’ve rambled for far too long. I want to leave you with these two incredible speeches by two incredible geniuses.
Charlie Chaplin in the Great Dictator Gives a speech on humanity that brings a tear to my eye every time I watch it.
And just tonight Lin Manuel Miranda’s Tony Acceptance Speech – guys, my words do no justice to this beautiful sonnet.
Love is love – remember that.
Remember our fallen brothers and sisters in Orlando. Show one stranger an act of kindness today. Make the world a better place.
Be great. Be kind. Be love.