As often as hate swarms our surroundings, my heart (as I’m sure a million other hearts) feels the fight inside to bring forth change. To seek out the root and resolve the fury. To break free of the chains of evil that every soul encounters. Have we not been trying to break free since the beginning of time? Has the search for Eden not been the sole goal since the very day Eden was evacuated? Breaking free isn’t a breeze though. Breaking free requires breaking the ice that leaves cold hearts closed shut. Breaking the ice that restricts the fire within from burning. That keeps the society from building. The hate we give. We have to break it. The hate we don’t even know we give. We have to break it.
Since completing Angie Thomas’s New York Times bestseller The Hate U Give a few days ago, it is the responsive thoughts in my mind that haven’t been able to find a break. I find myself so thankful for these thick thoughts, though. Thoughts that make me think more. Those are the best thoughts. So I have been thinking. And I have been rethinking. Rethinking my way of thinking. I’m part of the problem, I realize, without even realizing it.
I read Thomas’s words, and I realized. What if we all realized?
The hate we often think of with no regard to our peers’ past or present state is paralyzing us. In The Hate U Give, Thomas portrays this so passionately through the telling of truth that trumps the false assumptions made, which led to tragedy in a community, race, and people as a whole. These false assumptions feather from failure to know a person. A person’s past. A person’s present. They make a person. They provide reason for the actions of a person. They are the person. Therefore, why do I try to personally pick the parts I think should stay? Why do I assume one to be in the wrong before I rightfully know the root behind their thought process? Why do I dub one as dangerous prior to digging into their soul’s suffering? My responsive thoughts to Thomas's novel are continuing to grow me. The ice around my heart is breaking. The melting drops that drip from it are watering the soil of life. Life that lives in the people that are different from me. Different due to things they probably haven’t personally done. Due to decisions they thought they had to make in order to move forward. Due to human doing.
The teenager that stole from the store: His father left when he was a kid, and he is hungry.
The guy that you assume to be a “thug”: His mother is a drug addict, and he has siblings to provide for.
The girl that wears her shorts way too short and “is asking for it”: She has raised herself due to her mother’s own poor decisions. She doesn’t know anything different.
The kid that doesn’t do well in school because he “doesn’t try”: His parents aren’t home at night because they both work the night shift. He simply needs extra help that they themselves can’t provide.
The list goes on and on. Every questionable action holds a reasonable cause. A cause that, once understood, could break the barriers that bring forth hate among us.
Break the ice. Break the barriers. One broken person at a time.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Blogger Madeline Burdine is an emerging voice for the millennial culture in Mississippi. She expresses fresh ideas in original ways that ring true. She also is Mississippi Matters's first summer intern, and we're excited to have her with us this summer! A frequent speaker at youth gatherings, she enjoys playing her guitar and singing. The Houston, Mississippi native is a communications major and a rising junior at Mississippi State, while her boyfriend attends Ole Miss. Yikes! Welcome Madeline with a "like" for this article on Facebook and our website—and watch for more of her creative work soon!