I believe …

Here’s what I believe:

I believe millennials are defined. The media, social commentators and cultural experts have already lumped the young adult generation into one group, calling it this one word. Some people don’t want to accept the word, and some others squarely ignore it altogether. But I believe if millennials own the word, make it their own and bond through that word, great things are capable. Millennials can change the world if they unite and work toward common goals. There’s a common term right there in front of them. They should take it and run with it.

I believe millennials can change the world. I want millennials to change the world. I want to end suffering in America, end the cycle of poverty in our cities and rural communities. I want to end inequality in all corners of America: fix the system that makes blacks and Latinos work harder for the same pay as white people; fix the system that makes women work harder for the same pay as women. And end the mentality that rules all of that.

I believe black people are the most abused Americans, and in no way has this been resolved. Racism is strong and pervasive and lives among all of us. Black lives matter. And don’t turn that around, because here’s the truth: In the short history of America, black lives never mattered. We have devalued them with bullets and bullying fueled by fear and hatred.

I believe in equal rights across the spectrum, however you identify, however you live. No one person, distilled to his or her very soul, has higher moral authority than anyone. We are all equal regardless of who we are and what we do.

I believe our prisons are filled beyond capacity, and that the criminal justice system unfairly targets non-white people and poor people.

I believe a woman has the choice to do what she will with her body, especially when she didn’t have that choice previously.

I believe a man isn’t defined by the truck he drives, the beer he drinks or if he should feel.

I believe you are free to practice religion however you choose and wherever you choose. What makes one community greater than another, or one culture greater than another?

I believe we can and should be a more informed populace, because all people should be allowed to express a public opinion, regardless of knowledge and understanding. Being informed means knowing how to discern the opinion’s credibility.

I believe neither Democrats nor Republicans have the answer, and we would be foolish to blindly follow a party with hopes it would deliver on completely changing the world for good. We should evaluate every idea and plan, and discuss positive and negative effects. This seems simple. It never really is.

I believe guns are wrong. As we know, they are made to kill and kill alone; there is no other use. And to kill – by itself – is against the nature of humanity. And so guns are wrong, and only a source of hatred and evil. I cannot stand to look at a gun. I cannot stand to interpret the thought of a gun. These weapons should be outlawed. Nobody should own a gun. We are an ill nation because of their existence.

I believe nothing is one way or the other. The world is a place of nuance, and we must learn to navigate this nuance with thoughtfulness and care. If we do not, we become radicals and zealots who are blind to the realities of everyone but ourselves. Understanding that black and white do not exist, only a fragile screen of gray, is challenging, but once you open yourself to that concept, good is more possible.

I believe that all people are capable of good, and within every person rests some beating pulse of good. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. Every one is redeemable. So I do not believe in the death penalty, and I do not believe in hatred. The word rots our very existence. It breeds contempt and frustration; it causes terror. Illness is real and everywhere, and if we attempt to learn the causes and consequences of illness, we can live with a higher sense of kindness and acceptance.

Through my writing I hope to express these beliefs.