A guest blog by Annalise Sinclair
Recently, I called home to tell my mother that I love her- something I felt was necessary in the aftermath of all of the hate, fear, and death our world has seen over the last few weeks. During that conversation, my mother said two things to me that have been playing in my head over and over again: “I hope I raised you to not be prejudice. I hope I raised you to see people as people.”
Those two concepts seem so simple, but become so distant if you reflect on the different tragedies we have witnessed on our own soil over the last few weeks. Knowing full well that there is a need for more dialogue regarding social justice and the growing problem with prejudice and injustice in our country, the concept that people are people should be at the forefront of all of our hearts and minds. From Texas to Minnesota, Orlando to Louisiana, people- real people with loved ones and friends- have been senselessly killed.
I have been terrified to turn on the news or look at social media over the last few days- scared that a horrific image or distasteful status will trigger my anxiety. I feel like I am on the edge of a giant pit and with any small gust of wind, I will be hurdled into unending sorrow. The anger, violence, and hatred overwhelm me and ache throughout my body. I was once told that “if you could just stop feeling so much, you would not have such bad depression and anxiety.” There are times that I wish this was true.
But not today. I am glad that I can feel every sharp stab of sadness and the frustration that is mounting around me. My emotions make me human during a time that humanity seems to be slipping away. The collective sentiment felt by every individual in this time of crisis gives me hope- we see that there needs to be a change and that is the first step towards finding peace.
Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel once said “the opposite of love is not hate- it’s indifference." The heartbreaking crisis that we, as a nation, are experiencing has opened our eyes to the need for love. We have received our call to action and the mission ends in respect for one another and peace with unbreakable love. So take some time to reflect, grieve, pray, and take care of yourself. Just remember to never lose hope, as hope is what will keep the fire lit during our journey towards loving one another without restraint. We have a long way to go, but we can get better. Stay brave.
About the Author: Annalise is a homegrown Florida gal that transplanted to South Carolina by way of Ohio. A fighter against depression and anxiety, she has recently become a college speaker on the topics of mental wellness and fraternity/sorority life. She hopes that, in sharing her struggle with mental illness to inspire others to seek help.