Treat others as you’d treat yourself. Over the last year, I’ve seen people just flat out lump others into categories, pre-judge their actions and intent and completely write them off as if they were never human… You’ve seen this in the current political environment, in areas of racial diversity and even within our law enforcement personnel. One way or the next it’s the other person’s fault for their perspective in which you’ve never experienced. This is where empathy plays a huge role. Empathy is described as the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.

To put yourself in someone else’s place and understand that you may not know all of the struggles they face on daily basis or what they might have experienced that drives their decision making is truly what I believe we as neighbors, family and citizens should be doing. Helping one another in small ways would be one way that we can all start to mend what I believe to be a breakdown in communication between people. Once we start communicating with one another we should realize that what works for me may not work for you in any capacity and rather than fearing this difference we should embrace that we’re different and that’s what makes our world amazing. Those standing up for a cause shouldn’t be met with opposition but with understanding in a way that is constructive to better both sides and make us all stronger.

In short, be a good person. Understand that there will be people’s actions you do not agree with and as long as they’re not hurting others physically it’s within our grasp to open our minds to see us and them as equals. Work with one another. Solve issues together. Once we come together as Americans (or where ever you may be from), fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters and most importantly human beings we can solve any problem that arises. Be kind to one another. Be empathetic towards your fellow man.

–Aa

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