It's a great time time to be alive. That's not to say things are necessarily good, or life is necessarily easy. On the contrary, while the reader of this editorial is likely preparing for at least a decade of student debt while barely able to afford a proper meal, it may not seem like a great time to be alive. Likewise, when we tune into CBS or CNN to yet another leaked video of police beating unarmed black men and women, when hyper-conservative zealots are still trying to shut down Planned Parenthood and when LGBTQ+ folks are still subject to near constant attacks, it can seem like a pretty dim time to be alive.
But it is a great time to be alive, for one simple reason; we're talking. Yes, there is more controversy than the world has likely ever seen, but with that comes more conversation. We may be the last generation to see the axe of injustice swing, and we may be there to watch the blade rust away. Perhaps that's hopeful, perhaps hatred and bigotry are deeply rooted in the human psyche and perhaps justice is something that exists only in theory. Greater minds than mine have spent millennia pondering those thoughts to no avail.
What I do know is, simply, judgment has never helped. As we've learned not to judge others by the colors of their skin, self-identifications, language or heritage, we need to learn to not judge others by their thoughts or beliefs. Hate never helps, no matter if it's hate of a race or hate of the racist. Do not alienate, do not shun, do not condemn others for their beliefs. We are all people, and we're all wrong sometimes. You are better than no one just as you are worse than no one. You will never change someone's mind by assaulting them, but you can by having those tough conversations.