Dear America: You need to put yourself in someone else’s shoes

McKenzie Murphy, Contributor

Dear America,

“It is not conscience, but self-interest, that makes cowards of us all.”― Marty Rubin

Over the past year, the United States has gone through a decade worth of historic events that have come to define us across the globe. We were able to see the historic impeachment of our President, which has only happened two other times in our country. About a month later, the coronavirus became prevalent in the U.S., however, it was speculated to be in our country before the year began. As our economy and social dynamics of the country was in shambles, the death of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other tragic victims sparked an increase in awareness of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement at the beginning of the summer. Protests erupted across the country, as young people began to have a political awakening and found a cause they were willing to fight for. However, we also witnessed people who do not have consideration for others. We began to see the turmoil between people who did not want their lives to change to protect the vulnerable population of people (by not wearing masks and observing protocol) and those who did their part to protect us by staying safe. More publicized, we saw people for and against BLM. The news largely reported the fight as liberals versus conservatives, and Black Lives Matter versus All Lives Matter. Personally, I saw the conflict between people who are selfish and people who have compassion for others.

DeGue, et al, reported from 2009-2012, black people were 2.8 times as likely than white people to be fatally injured by law enforcement, and the black victims were less likely to be armed (DeGue, et ak, 2016). With no major laws being passed within the time frame of 2012 to now to help this situation, it seems fairly clear that this issue is right and wrong (DeGue et al, 2016). Nevertheless, America is stuck in its ways. I have gathered that people act strongly and foremostly out of self-interest- some people do not want to wear a mask because it makes them uncomfortable, or people do not want to listen to an alternative opinion because it is uncomfortable to see the other side. The white older population might not want to change their minds because their world has worked a certain way for their entire life. However, I challenge Americans to put the needs of others before your own comfort- put yourself into another’s shoes. There is always a lesson to be learned from others and new experiences.


McKenzie Murphy