“We should all know that diversity makes for a rich tapestry and we must understand that all the threads of the tapestry are equal in value no matter what their colour.”
– Maya Angelou
I feel like our world is in such turmoil. From the horrors of a man carrying out a brutal attack on love in Orlando to the endless queues of refugees desperately seeking a safe place to escape the conflict within their country to potential world leaders spouting hatred and ignorance throughout their campaigns to a country divided by the fear-mongering tactics used by their politicians and leaders – I feel like all I see is fear, hate, sadness, and frustration.
In many ways, I see lines being drawn, spirits being hardened, and fear and hate taking the place of love and unity.
History reminds us that dictators and despots arise during times of severe economic crisis. –
Sometimes I wonder if we will ever learn from history – in crisis it is often the way in for hate. In Europe, far-right parties and politicians are gaining support and stepping in to leadership. In the UK, far-right politicians continue to gain support, while hateful, xenophobic and racist organisations seem to be gaining membership and momentum. Meanwhile in the USA, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee spouts hate, ignorance, racism and anger from his podium while his hoards of supporters cheer him on.
When people are scared, it’s natural to seek out security. Attachment Theory states that we, as human beings, are only able to reach out and take chances when we feel secure and able. The safer and more secure we feel, the more we will open up and show love. Right now our world feels unsafe – and people are scared. Love and unity feels very far away while people become hard, angry, and reactionary.
Lin-Manuel Miranda recently accepted his Tony Award for Hamilton on the same day that 49 people had been shot dead in an act of pure hatred and evil in a nightclub in Orlando. He said:
When senseless acts of tragedy remind us
That nothing here is promised, not one day
This show is proof that history remembers
We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger
We rise and fall and light from dying embers
Remembrances that hope and love lasts long
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love
Cannot be killed or swept aside.
As Jo Cox MP said in her maiden speech in Parliament, “We have far more in common than that which divides us…”. Jo Cox was murdered in the midst of the EU Referendum campaign in yet another act of hatred borne out of fear – yet, in an emotional statement following her death her husband spoke of meeting this hate with a hurricane of love. In the aftermath of the Orlando shootings, love enveloped the people who had been affected and the world spoke out on their behalf. Yet, why do we wait for tragedy to strike before we reach out and show that love? Why does it take acts of hate to trigger acts of love?
I wonder what the records will say about this time in history…