One of the hardest things for me has always been making my voice heard. For so very much of my life, I have just wanted to be left alone, to be "off to the side", unseen, or just make it through another day unharassed. Because of it, my inner circle has always been made of just a very precious few. But silence isn't safety, it's complicity.
There is a cancer rising in our country, and everyday I feel a little bit more of my optimism die. We are becoming unrecognizable. Hate cannot be given a place at the table. Fear cannot be given a place at the table. We will always have our differences in thought, politics, and religion, but our humanity should be constant regardless.
We cannot continue to make "the other" out of each other. We cannot continue to spew indignation then follow it with inaction. Our compassion is never a weakness. Our empathy is never a weakness, but we must do so much more than just be a voice of kindness. We must be its hand. We must be its shield. I want to see the good in people again.