A friend of my shared a story today about a Transgender Kid who left a suicide note on Tumblr asking for the world to change (read it here).
Stories like this trash my spirit. I only hope that we are moving forward in some ways...
What we need more than anything is a cultural revolution that reconnects us to compassion and hope and breaks the chains cynicism, nihilism, and isolationism have wrapped around our necks. Only when we learn to stand up will things change.
One moment, I need a musical break, sing a long if you know it, if not, it has the words.
For years, decades, centuries, people have tried to change the world, and as Joseph Campbell said:
Every time I quote that, my friends sigh, and tell me that I just don't get it. We talk for a couple hours until we finally get back around the point. We cannot change other people, we can only change ourselves.
This is one of the most troubling aspects of modern social movements, our solution is always to pass a law, change a law, or enforce a law. If history has taught us anything, we have to see that law is only a minor part of the change we need.
Yes, anti-discrimination laws are important, and so are hate crime laws. They won't accomplish anything if we don't take wise action to change ourselves in such a way that it encourages others to take on the same change.
All of this starts with compassion. Compassion is simply living by the gold and silver rules:
When we act according to these simple rules of compassion that every culture on earth has come to over time, we start building the world that we want to see. We only have control over our actions. We have to take responsibility for our own actions.
How can we expect others to treat us with respect if we will not grant them the same courtesy? How can we expect society to celebrate difference if we demand conformity? The path forward it to demonstrate through our lives, our jobs, our entertainment, and our businesses that diversity and compassion make us stronger. If we do not demonstrate the basic interconnectedness of all people, places, and things, we have no hope that others will see it.
In every encounter, be kind, be compassionate, and celebrate the differences between people. Only through living a life that makes others envious of our joy, hope, and prosperity will others start looking for ways they can have the same thing.
Become a beacon for compassion. Live compassion in all your words, thoughts, and deeds, and you will be the change that we need. When others ask you why your life is so different, tell them, but make they want to ask.
One by one, we will realize that we are all interconnected, and that our actions effect everyone and everything. Eventually, this will change the world.