Dear Terrorists,

I’m sorry. I’m sorry that the world has angered you in more ways than I can imagine. Sometimes it’s hard to see any good when people are frustrating, acting in ways or expressing views you disagree with. I understand that there are many frustrations in the world.

Your life is valuable and you matter. But so does everyone else. I wish you could understand that.

I also know you might feel ostracized from the rest of the world. But you are still a human and the God I believe in still seeks you out and invites you to be his ‘beloved.’ I’m sorry if some people lose sight of your humanity amidst their anger. However, they have reason to be angry and I’m saddened that you are apathetic about the pain you are causing others, and ultimately, yourself. I may not know all your motives (and maybe they make perfect sense to you), but know that I think you’ve lost sight of others’ humanity too. Remembering each other’s humanness is what will solve our issues as the human race.

Would eliminating everyone with different viewpoints really be effective? You would become very lonely, grow restless and still not be satisfied at the end of the day. If you learned how to communicate more effectively face-to-face with others that would help heaps more. Talk to others about why you hold such a strong opinion and why you think they would benefit from acquiring your viewpoint. People would fully hear out your argument that way and you could potentially gain supporters. Whereas, if you killed everyone who disagreed with you sadness, anger and emptiness within yourself all increase. Argue with words, not weapons.

The other day one of you committed an act of terrorism at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. This was not only tragic because of the lives lost, but because it was at a concert of all places. I’m going to go out on a limb and say you all appreciate some music; every human loves music. The thing about music is that it shows people they are not alone, it provides community regardless of political or spiritual views, and it connects people from all parts of the world. This empathetic art is something we can all agree upon and appreciate—it has been part of societal rituals like weddings and funerals, provided a great stress reliever to all who seek it, and communicated messages our hearts cannot put into words.

As an avid concert-goer myself, this act broke my heart because I know that people wait weeks, months and even a year in advance for concerts. Precious money is saved up for a night of bliss when everyone can sing in harmony in one room to musicians that have cheered them up on gloomy days or even saved their lives. Hundreds and even thousands of people waited in excited anticipation for that concert just to end up dead, hospitalized or traumatized for life. That was the last place they ever expected to die. Concerts are safe havens for so many. Does that really not register any emotions within you? I hate that you’re plagued by apathy.

I hope you have all been moved by music at some point in your life; those are beautifully indescribable moments. If you haven’t, I hope you do soon. Music is a timeless beauty that comes in all shapes and forms.

It is never too late to communicate your feelings in a more productive way. I hope you understand the weight and sadness of your actions someday. I hope you start feeling sympathy for people with different viewpoints someday.

You are still human and I will always treat you as such. I’m upset you have such discontentment in your heart and I’m sorry fulfillment has not flooded into your life. I will pray that you find peace in peace someday.

Sincerely,

A Woman who Loves Music and People

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To the Harolds

The other week I watched Harold & Maude for the first time and I have never laughed so much during one movie before! I loved it, along with the characters of Harold and Maude. After I finished the film I kept thinking about Harold’s character and the people I’ve encountered who seem to resemble this troubled young man. I’ve run into a couple Harolds—people who feel insignificant and doubt whether their lives truly matter. So whether I know you or not, my Harolds, this one’s for you.

I know you’ve been through a lot of rough relationships and I can’t even imagine how people have hurt you in the past, whether family or friends. I’m sure some people get frustrated with you because you’re not up to their standards and you might not always communicate in ways others want you to. But I know reasoning runs deeper than attempts at being inconvenient to those around you. When people are coming and going in your life so frequently I can only imagine how difficult it is to try to open yourself up to some.

There are many question marks in your life. Dang, life is complicated; it can be rough and monotonous. Sometimes you would rather stay in the background where you can blend in and skate through life unnoticed. You may feel invisible and insignificant at times, but you are so loved, more than you can even fathom. I know there would be broken hearts if you were gone, so please never convince yourself that would be the best plan. Your importance goes beyond the value you place on your daily life.

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Photo credit: listal.com

You matter. I can’t say it enough and you can’t hear it enough. Keep searching until you find those people that make you feel important. Find people like Maude, who help you look outside of yourself to the world around you and allow you to see your place in it. Don’t be afraid to share your emotions; I know you aren’t too keen on doing that. Tell someone your heart is still hurting from years ago. Tell someone you don’t know where to turn next. Yes, it’s difficult and you’ll probably be uncomfortable being so vulnerable, but it will reap such beneficial rewards. No one wants you to feel isolated. Keep telling yourself that until you believe it.

Keep being you at the end of the day, because you have unique traits to offer the world. You have so much potential, more than you see in yourself. When the going gets tough, don’t look inward, look out. You are going to do great things and people will flock to you just for being you. Yes, you with that quirk you don’t like and those intolerable characteristics you seem to find in yourself. Not everyone sees you the way you do.

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Photo credit: film4.com

Sometimes the world moves too fast, Harold. It’s okay to slow down and stop sometimes. It’s okay to say ‘this is too much right now.’ Just promise me you’ll stand up tomorrow and try again.

But one thing is certain—you will figure it all out eventually. Maybe you won’t live out the life you had envisioned, because bad things get in the way, but joy can be found every day if you look hard enough… and I know you want to find it, even if you can’t see it right now.

Hang in there, friends. And remember:

“Well if you want to sing out, sing out / And if you want to be free, be free / ‘Cause there’s a million things to be / You know that there are.”

(…but being you is the best.)

~Annah