Always stand up for the rights of others. Always speak up against hateful rhetoric. Never stay silent on what or who you know is wrong in their thinking. Choose your relationships wisely—think twice and don’t let someone’s lack of empathy and understanding cloud your honest judgment. In all my years, I have learned my friends and acquaintances make up who I am and through this knowledge, I have learned the circles we create are a direct reflection of who we are at the end of the day. Don’t let anyone’s lack of ethics, morality and faulty judgment be a reflection of you. (Again, think twice.)
As a nation and a world, we have a moral obligation to one another to be kind, to be understanding and most of all, to defend the rights of those in the minority who are unfairly treated. I saw this quote a few days ago and ever since, have been thinking about something my best friend, B told me a few years ago before entering law enforcement on the night of my birthday: “Never be afraid to speak up for yourself and your loved ones.” The world can be ugly and people can be downright mean towards others, not caring for anyone’s thoughts but their own whether through racism, homophobia, xenophobia, gender inequality, etc. But there is good and that overpowers the bad—always. Whatever happens, never stay silent on things that you know aren’t true, whether they’re about you, a race, a religion, a class of people, etc.
In keeping with MLK and all three Holy Books (the Bible, the Quran and the Torah), we were taught to love thy neighbor, stand up for others and speak out on injustice. If you choose to stay silent, what is left of your integrity? What is left to believe in the hope of empathy for mankind? What has happened to our tolerance? What has happened to all the love?