I will never understand how so many people can continue to find more solace in hatred and conflict than in peace and tolerance. It is such a strong toxin that it consumes your soul and your humanity to the point where you can no longer see yourself in others. Yet time and time again intelligent, passionate, thinking human beings choose that path and rationalize the unconscionable.

No child is born with hatred. It is an emotion that we as a country, we as a civilization, and we as a species choose to continue to allow to exist. Still worse, not only do we allow it but we actively cultivate it. This emotion that serves no purpose beyond causing us to kill ourselves. We breed it in ourselves and in others. And for what? To feel a tiny inconsequential speck of superiority in this vast uncaring universe?

Far too often we speak of tragedy and conflict as if it were an unavoidable outgrowth of our mere existence. We blame religion, we blame politics, we blame greed, we blame poverty. Yet we ignore the fact that all of those things are of ourselves. This is what we as a species have collectively chosen to create for ourselves. We choose to value conquest over community. We choose to create religions that foster intolerance over acceptance. We choose to divide us from them. And we choose to kill our own kind.

We must remember that the world we live in is not an inevitability. Our civilization is what we make it, and therefore we can change it. We can choose to build our communities without tearing down others. We can choose to throw away this man-made rhetoric that tells us who to despise and who to revere. We can choose to share our prosperity so that we all become more equal. And we can choose to not kill each other.

“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”