I’ll Follow the Sun

Today is the best day of the year. Not the best holiday but the best ordinary day. It’s a day where anything is possible, whether you decide to live it to its full potential or not. 

Outside of the United States, there are countless traditions people observe and practice for this first day of summer. There are Maypole dances, naked runs, and other festivities varying from country to country. The most simple tradition of them all, the one I don’t understand why people stopped practicing, is watching the sunrise on the day of the most daylight in a calendar year. 

Barely anyone watches the sunrise on the solstice, let alone any other day of the week. Rather than rubbing their eyes awake at 5 a.m. to sit outside and think about everything the light touches, people have decided to only fill themselves up with sunsets or, unfortunately, no sun at all. That’s like going to eat thanksgiving dinner but only eating pecan pie. Yes, sunsets are important to soak in, but after a while I wonder if people get tired of filling themselves up with the same thing. I speak from experience because after eating ramen two days in a row, I that my digestive system is in dire need of a change in culinary scenery. 

For those of you night owls that refuse to give up your sleep, I want you to know that you are sincerely missing out. As you all know, sunsets are a work of art. However, sunrises are of a different matter; they are works of seduction. 

I hardly know the first thing about seducing a person, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know what it is. It’s the art of knowing what someone really wants and giving it to them in a way that takes their breath away. That’s a sunrise. 

When the sun sets, there is such a rapid change in color and lighting that if you blink once or twice you might miss the whole thing. Sunrises, on the other hand, are a commitment, not just to wake up early, but to stay the entire way through. People know what they want: the big finale where they can finally see the sun in the sky. Yet, they have to play the game that God an the universe have created, the long game. 

It’s an easy game to play, I promise. It’s a spectator sport that has captured the world by storm for years and years, somewhat like baseball. First base is when the sky goes from black to blue. Second base is watching the stars fade back into the depths of space. Third base is when the sky gives off a hint of yellow light at the horizon, and we all know what home base is. If you haven’t seen the world’s greatest pastime played before your very eyes, I suggest you buy a ticket soon because one day you’ll run out of pocket change from wasting your money on foolish things. 

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What We Can Learn From Mass Shootings

This is what I know about the incident.

  • The shooting took place from Saturday night to early Sunday morning.
  • It is the deadliest mass shooting in the US, killing 50 people.
  • It took place at Pulse, a nightclub known to be the “hottest gay bar in Orlando.”
  • The shooter, Omar Mir Seddique Mateen, is affiliated with the Islamic State.

This is what I know about the outcome of the incident.

  • Normal human beings watched friends and strangers drop to the ground due to either the fear of getting shot or being unfortunate enough to have been shot.
  • The Islamic State is a terrorist group that does not truly follow the peaceful religion of Islam.
  • The Islamic State has performed multiple acts of terrorism, such as the overly publicized attacks in Brussels and Paris as well as their lesser known attacks in Nigeria and Afghanistan.
  • The shooting of this past weekend has reignited the public outcry and conversation on gun laws, the true definition of Islam, the differentiation between religion and radicals, the support and acceptance of the LGBTQ community, etc.

This is what I know about life.

I know that there is always a lesson to be learned, just as though every situation in life is a blown up episode of Full House. There are the tiny lessons that you learn along the way, and then there are the lessons you learn by stepping back and looking at the bigger picture.

I’m so proud of the human race, at least the part that has come to realize the tiny lessons. I’m proud of the people that realize the difference between radical Muslims and true Muslims, radical Christians and true Christians, and so forth. I’m proud of the people that want all human beings to be accepted, not stereotyped, judged, or harmed.FullSizeRender.jpgFullSizeRender (1).jpg

Despite having a large percentage of people speak out on the tiny lessons, I have not seen an enormous reaction to the bigger picture. Mass shootings are meant to cause chaos and tear people apart.  So far, it has been successful. People have become so divided on what the shooting means to them. There have been so many heated debates on whether or not the shooter is justified since he killed members of the LGBTQ community. Does anyone else realize how absurd this sentence is? Never in my life did I think I would put the words “the shooter is justified” together.

Right now, at this moment in time, it shouldn’t matter that the victims are LGBTQ. It shouldn’t matter that the shooter is affiliated with the Islamic State. It shouldn’t matter how he got the gun, at least not now. People have spoken up on these important issues without speaking on the greater issue at hand. We have forever to debate these controversial topics, but we don’t have forever to see what’s really going on here.

Have you ever noticed that the entire series of Full House is the same thing over and over again? Each episode is a tiny lesson, but overall it’s the same big picture: finding out how to do good towards other people and towards the world. That’s life. We are supposed to debate these topics, don’t get me wrong. However, we are also meant to see the bigger picture that is bringing out more good in the world. That should be something we can all agree on.

Rather than tearing ourselves apart as a worldly community, we are supposed to come together. All we have is now to mourn the loss of life because the world is going to keep spinning. When was the last time you saw a post paying respects to the victims of the Paris attacks or heard someone actually pray for Brussels? We only have so much time to learn the importance of becoming a united front to combat crimes against nature.

It’s our jobs as citizens to do our part in combating evil in the world. Not all of us are cut out for the life of a soldier or a federal agent, but that doesn’t mean that we stand by and do nothing. All the evil people in the world can see what we post on social media, and they see that we are heated. They see that we are opinionated. They see that we are not united.

Just as I said before, this shooting has been successful in causing chaos. We have to prove them wrong, and I don’t want to wait for another loss of life for that to happen.