In wake of tragedy, come together through differences

In light of the recent Las Vegas shooting, it’s time to come together as a community, both here at Loras and on a national level.

Unfortunately, in our society, differences often lead to hatred and, in extreme cases, violence. We’ve seen this too many times within the past few months: in Charlottesville and now Las Vegas. While the motive behind the Las Vegas shooting remains a mystery, in times like these it is important for us to remember that we should not dwell on individual differences of opinion but rather celebrate them.

It is so much easier to hate than it is to love. Whether it’s on matters of culture, religion or politics, it’s easy to say, “Well, I don’t agree with this person, so I don’t like them.” It’s easy to disregard those who are different. It’s easy to become rigid and close-minded when it comes to personal beliefs.

But there is fault in this way of life.

It is also easy to say, “We’re all basically the same deep down.” We don’t want to minimize or trivialize differences either. Our differences are what makes us who we are. It is important to celebrate diversity within our communities and appreciate what people from different religious, political or cultural backgrounds have to offer.

Despite differences, we can still foster meaningful relationships with each other. While it may be difficult, it is important to listen to each other. This is the only way to truly understand one another. Learning about others and their beliefs is extraordinarily beneficial to growing as a person. You can discover so much about yourself and your own personal beliefs through listening to others. In connecting with different types of people, you may find that your own way of thinking needs revision. Alternatively, you may grow stronger in your beliefs.

The point is this: Just because two people have differing beliefs doesn’t mean they have to dislike each other. And most importantly, despite our differences, we must always respect and listen to each other. For the most part, these ideas seem to be universally accepted. However, these ideas are nowhere near universally put into practice. While most people would say that they agree with these concepts, there is still a huge disconnect between how people think and how people act.

As a larger community, we need to come together and create change. We need to become more self-aware. Ask yourself: Do I actively listen and try to understand those who differ from me? We need to start discourse — not arguments — about diversity and learn from our individual differences. We need to learn to accept and, perhaps more importantly, celebrate what makes us who we are.

— The Lorian editorial staff

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