By Ramiro A. Pereyra III (Trey)
What Happened to us?
Since I was around 10 years old, my morning always started the same way. I would wake up, get ready, and then go down and watch the news. I remember at 10 or 11 watching the news and seeing some of the sad things in the world, but not as much as there is today.
It hurts me everyday to see so many people suffering and I continue to think “why?” Why do we hate each other so much? Why are acting so horribly to one another? What happened to the love we had for one another? What happened to us?
Over the last several months I have been watching the Presidential debates, speeches, and campaigns like so many. I have also watched how it has torn us apart. Friends have become enemies. Family members have turned their backs on each other. Decent people have become cold and distant from others and all because of different views.
I had a dream of holding a government position since I was a teen. I dreamed of bringing diplomacy to this nation and all those we work with. A position to make a difference in the lives of the people I love. But after all I have seen through these last couple of years, I am not sure if I could or want to because I am different and I see how differences have become more of burden then a gift.
I think we as a society and a country, have forgotten what we were built on. We were built on different views and different personalities. We were created not from petty arguments, but thriving conversations on differences of opinion. From hard work and dedication, not privilege. All the values we worked hard to create are breaking apart at the seams. I cannot stand by and let the country I love fall to its knees without saying something.
I know that many people will not agree with me. I know many will resent everything I have stated and believe in, but it is okay. It is okay to have a different opinion then mine. It is okay to want to express one another’s views. Many people, including myself, are afraid of saying what they believe because of possible retaliation from others. We shouldn’t be. We should be able to share what we think and be open to others.
So I put this challenge out to everyone. Ask others what they think. Ask them their opinion on matters that we face. Be open to their views and beliefs. Have a conversation in a respectful and safe manner. Push the boundaries and the single mindedness we have set on ourselves and strive to understand others views. Share with them what you believe and come together to change the world around you. Our differences are gifts. They are what make us unique. They are what make a difference in this world.