If you follow me on instagram, you might have seen that this morning I posted a wonderful quote by the ever-wise Jimmy Buffett. I loved it, because it reminds me of one of my all-time favorite quotes. And it really got me thinking, because all this nonsense happening in the world these days, and people’s reactions to it, has been weighing on me.
My all-time favorite quote is something I’ve carried with me for years. I call it a quote from Pollyanna (I grew up drowning myself in Hayley Mills films), but it’s actually a quote from Abraham Lincoln that is used in the movie:
I’ve been known to use some derivative of this quote in multiple situations (see post title), because I feel like it’s powerful. It’s so simple, yet such an elusive concept. Right now, I feel like it is massively impactful in how we’re choosing to view and interpret others.
23.2% of the world population is Muslim, second only to Christianity (pewforum.org). That’s roughly 1.6 BILLION people worldwide. Yet people still choose to see Muslims as a whole, as “potential terrorists,” because “Islam is inherently a violent religion.”
It makes me sad to see people all over social media ostracizing nearly a quarter of the world population due to their religious beliefs.
It makes me sad that we’re passing so much judgment on issues that we’re so uninformed on.
It makes me sad that we rely on an unreliable media to tell us what we “need” to know.
It makes me sad that Christians speak down on Islam as a violent religion, when virtually any religion can be perceived as violent if practiced in its purest form. The vast majority of Muslims do not practice “pure Islam,” just as most Christians don’t live by the letter of the law that the Bible puts forth (we’d be screwed if we did…). It makes me sad that most people don’t realize that mainstream religious practices within all religions are “moderate” versions of their religion, which is what makes them so much easier for people to practice. This goes for Islam.
It scares me that good Christian (and other) people are rallying to close our borders to all refugees.
It scares me that when people think of refugees, they don’t think of terrified men, women, and children running for their lives away from atrocities that most of us will never experience.
It scares me that they think “terrorist” is synonymous with “refugee.”
It scares me that as we speak, innocent, peace-seeking people are being raped, tortured, killed, or forced to commit horrible acts in the name of Islam (or anything).
It scares me that there is so much pure hatred in this world that people are hiding behind religion to act out on.
It scares me that with the good, we will inevitably let in the bad through our borders and under our protection.
It scares me that it’s not a matter of if, but WHEN, the next terror attack will occur.
It scares me that there are so many people who can’t accept that others live under different beliefs than them.
It scares me that there are no easy answers, and possibly no answers at all.
I certainly don’t have them. It’s not simple on either side of the argument. It’s not even easy to find real answers to better understand what’s going on. Hopefully, we can all open our minds to learning about what’s really happening, and insist that change comes about.
I know that the word “crisis” is wrong when talking about the refugees. Crisis is losing your home. Crisis is breaking down in the middle of rush hour traffic. This is so far beyond a crisis that it’s virtually indefinable. It’s a tragedy on humanity.