Today, I heard a speaker ask his audience of young professionals to consider the costs of not changing. He was speaking about being adaptive in one’s careers, but I started to think about it in terms of how we treat other people. What is the cost if we allow discrimination, bigotry, and abuse to run rampant? I believe we risk losing the beauty in other people because our preconceived bias.
As I was catching up on today’s news, I came across a story of a school in rural Oklahoma that closed for two days because adults were terrorizing a twelve-year-old girl. The adults targeted the girl because their transphobic minds could not tolerate her using a public bathroom. Another story discussed a grand jury investigation into the Catholic Church’s cover up of sexual abuse crimes committed by priests against children in Pennsylvania, which is yet another part of the never ending saga of the Church’s immorality. Dissenters are being targeted by the White House and its leader, whose character is so horrendous that I nearly expect every breaking news story to be another Trump temper tantrum (and it nearly always is). These examples show what can be lost—childhood, safety, public spaces, body autonomy, free speech, and a nation’s reputation and democracy.
We must continue to demand more from ourselves and from others. The cost is too much to pay if we don’t.