If I have to pick one out of the many takeaways from my trip to upstate New York last weekend, it is that it’s always good to let people know how much you appreciate and care about them. I’ll be quick to admit that I’m not a subject matter expert to speak about what’s happening in Israel and Palestine; I'm also neither Jewish nor Muslim; but just as it doesn’t take a whole lot of knowledge for a five-year-old to feel sad when she sees her friends in pain, we can all empathize with our fellow humans when they are suffering because it’s in our human nature. The comfort I found while consuming the news on my little phone screen and the peace I experienced while looking out from my hotel room window suddenly felt out of place.
As someone who’s been sharing openly on these platforms, I know how at times it might feel as if no one cared about what you posted. But I’ve been proven wrong. “I know I might have not told you this, but I want you to know how much I appreciate what you do” seems to be the most repeated phrase my friends and I said to each other when we met again in person after so long.
I hope you know that there are people who do care, even when you don’t see it. There are people who are terrified with you, angry with you, worried with you. Because no one should die as a result of their faith or land dispute. Because humanity matters. Because peace shouldn’t require any tradeoffs but is a basic human right.
Once again, I'm reminded of this quote from Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh: "Our enemy is not other people. Our enemy is hatred, violence, discrimination, and fear."