Photo Credit: ABC News
August 15, 1945: America celebrates Victory in Japan Day, when Japan surrendered after years of brutality rooted in hatred from World War II. American, if not global, unity was at its prime. People celebrated the end of a period of trauma, loss, and grief, hopeful for an awakening of peace and a revival of comfort.
Photo Credit: New York Post
September 12, 2001: The day after perhaps the most destructive day since Pearl Harbor. The hearts of not only Americans, but people everywhere were crushed by the events that occurred just one day before. Americans gathered to mourn, to celebrate life, and to commemorate those that gave up their own lives to save others. Whilst brutality and hatred was constant and continues to manifest in our world and society today, it becomes clear through instances like this that humanity can put differences aside and come together in times of need.
Photo Credit: Vox.com
May 13, 2020: The spread of COVID-19 throughout the world causes American dismantlement. Debates over the genuinity of the pandemic, the usefulness of protective equipment, and whether a national lockdown is a violation of freedom and liberties plague America. Americans fall to insults and violence to solve these arguments, but the one thing America cannot come by? Unity.
And so, in the midst of 2020, perhaps the most chaotic year of all years, why must our world be so divided? Why must the concept of a mask become a discussion of politics? Why must we dispute others’ beliefs when at this current moment, all this world needs is unity and compassion from its citizens?
Of course, the Earth is a unique place; no two people are the same. And it would only be natural for our own beliefs to divide us. But why must we, as human beings, take our own opinions and perspectives and utilize them to fuel the pandemic that torments our world? And that pandemic is not COVID-19, it’s hatred.
The answer is this: we shouldn’t. We should learn to take other’s perspectives into consideration, putting ourselves in their shoes. We should be able to listen and learn from the beliefs of others, instead of utilizing it to further the hatred and brutality present in our world.
And so the question is, where are you, mid-pandemic unity? Will it be possible to find a picture that clearly demonstrates the unity of the world in 2020, or has unity been postponed to 2021?
We are human beings composed of flesh and blood and a heartbeat. We are human beings capable of loving and exuding compassion. But we are also human beings capable of utter abhorrence and hostility. We are also human beings who withhold the ability to tear down others’ beliefs because they do not align with our own. It’s up to us to decide which human being we’d like to be associated with.
And so what will it be, 2020? Will we see unity whilst you reside in our presence? I, for one, sure hope so.
Photo Credit: PAHO.org