So I grew up playing this really awesome game called Kingdom Hearts. You get sucked away from your home on a lonely island and end up traversing a bunch of Disney worlds in the process. Now you’d think a game about a boy who fights monsters with a giant key would be stupid but, the concept was so successful that it spawned a sequel and so many spinoffs that the story line trips over itself. Now the premise of this game is that your friends have gone missing and you must find them with the help of Donald and Goofy all while reliving your childhood and learning about the consequences of giving into the darkness within our hearts and letting it consume us. You also learn that with in the deepest darkness, there is always a faint light shinning within that when taped by the right person can illuminate the darkest depths. Wait, you mean this blog isn’t supposed t be about Kingdom Hearts? But it’s such a great game even though the plot has now become more of a mess than Hillary Clinton’s messaging. I guess you guys want me to jump the point like playing hopscotch barefoot with thumb tacks on the ground don’t you? If you insist but y’all should play this damn game.
So why did I just spend an entire paragraph talking about a video game that explores the darkness within the human heart and how within that darkness there’s a faint light? Well, we need to have a talk about something really bad that happened on Sunday June 12th in the wee hours of the morning. Those who have been following the news know that at approximately 2 am, an armed gunman when into the doors of the Pulse Night and basically went full Rambo injuring over 100 and killing roughly around 50 LGBTQ people of color. Now there are two sides created as a result of this atrocity, those who use this as a platform to argue their stance on guns and, those who use this as a platform to argue about extremism and immigration. Unfortunately neither of these touches upon the brutal truth of this shooting you see, buried beneath the arguments about whether or not an AR-15 can be considered an assault rifle or talks of combating extremism is a painful reminder that discrimination against the LGBTQ community is pretty strong. Forget all this talk about guns and Islam and let’s call this brutal act for exactly what it is, a hate crime against the LGBTQ community carried out by not a Muslim but, a man with hatred both for the community and himself if certain reports about his ties to the night club are true.
For the first time ever, I had to lay low from my Facebook in order to avoid getting into fights with people about gun control and Islam. The sheer ignorance is pretty high and the ability of the media to skew people’s thought’s in a certain direction is astounding. I’ve watched people vehemently argue why gun control is dumb and I’ve watched politicians argue against extremism and convince people that we need to go to war with ISIS. Sadly these arguments don’t acknowledge that again, a hate crime was committed against a group that has been marginalized for a very long time. A guy with pure hatred in his heart specifically chose one of Orlando‘s hottest gay clubs and shot to kill over 100 patrons who wanted to do nothing more but celebrate who they are. This isn’t an issue of guns or religion, it’s a human issue, we as a society created this monster we call Omar Mateen because we forgot how to love EVERYONE regardless of whether or not their views and morals align with ours.
There have been many mass shootings in this country but, this one hit me hard due to the fact the many people I consider to be good friends are in the LGBTQ community. Some days I’m haunted by the thought of “what if it were them”? The fact that the media was unwilling to acknowledge truth behind this attack made me pretty angry, it was in that moment that I needed to channel that anger into something positive. A couple blogs ago (I Like Warm Hugs), I talked about the power of a hug and how I was inspired to walk around Boston with a free hugs sign. I decided it was time to stop procrastinating and put that into motion. I realized that love is something we forgot how to express and decided to offer up mine to random strangers willing to receive it. I stood at one of Boston’s busiest walk ways (Winter Street and Washington) with a sign and the results blew me away.
They started relatively lukewarm but as time passed, more and more people came in for a hug. At one point a lady came up to me and asked “are you sure it’s free?” followed by “There’s no catch is there?”. I don’t blame her, I walk through that area with headphones constantly ignoring those trying to solicit donations so I’ve grown weary of people’s intentions, we all have. It also made me realize that we as a society forgot how to give without wanting anything in return. I stood at that crossing with that sign because compassion isn’t something you need to pay for, we should be showing it to everyone every single day. I tend to keep religion separate from my rambling unless necessary but I do have to talk about the other inspiration for this. Jesus loved everyone regardless of who they were or what they had done and the only thing he ask for in return was that we loved others just as unconditionally. Sadly people have forgotten how to do this once again giving way to the unfortunate truth, we created Omar Mateen, we created a society where people are encouraged to publicly hate and discriminate any group of their choosing.
Everyone needs deserves to be loved and I wanted to remind people of that with the hugs. I wanted to remind people that no matter how dark things get, there’s always a light at the end. No matter how stormy, there’s always a rainbow, that and Ronnie James Dio is the man so why not name a blog after a classic song. I hope to continue this and see where it goes but so far I’m certain I’m on to something. Who would of thought that socially awkward introverted me would stand in the middle of crowds hugging random strangers? Once again it’s been real and remember, EVERYONE deserves to be loved regardless of your morals and theirs.