Maya Angelou once said, “Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but it has not solved one yet.”
There is so much truth in that quote. That truth continues to prove itself century after century. Currently, it feels as if hate is more prominent in the world than love. When will it be enough for a change to be made?
Was it not the forced labor and brutal abuse of African Americans for centuries?
Was it not the malicious torture and genocide of 6 million Jews?
Was it not the terrorist groups or the communists or the society of closeminded people who feel they need to control who one loves or identifies as?
Decades later, I am still being underestimated just because of my gender.
And now, 11 dead. Eleven Jews are dead. They were not just Jews; they were people — people with lives, jobs, friends and family who loved them. They are now no longer on this earth. They were taken from this world by hate. More accurately described as blind hate brought on by the fear of those who look different or believe in a different faith.
I consider myself very lucky to be a part of a community filled with love and acceptance. I am so very grateful for my parents who taught me never to judge someone for how they look or what they believe. As privileged as I am, many others can’t say the same. Many people grow up in a community where they are taught to be ashamed of who they are. That is not OK. As Americans, we should never feel ashamed for being ourselves.
My generation is supposed to be the generation of change. We are supposed to be fighting the hate, not allowing it to take over our innocence and the light that fills us.
As hard as it may be, we must keep fighting. We must keep fighting even when we are surrounded by the hurtful words trying to tear us down.
We must keep fighting even when it physically hurts to keep our heads up.
We must make our voices heard, let the world know enough is enough.
We cannot let this tragic event be forgotten.
Let our hearts fill this world with love.
Let our voices stand as one.
Let our words inspire hope in those who need it.
Let us stand together and support each other.
Stand with me, and fight for the ones who can’t fight for themselves and never lose hope.
Let’s let love prevail.
Jane I. Borenstein, 15, is a sophomore at Cranbrook Kingswood. She lives in Birmingham and attends Temple Beth-El. Her aunt lives within a half-mile of Tree of Life synagogue where 11 Jews were killed by an anti-Semite.