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My heart breaks for all of those who are feeling hopeless, disconnected, unworthy. In a society that tells us we’re nothing if we’re not beautiful, rich or famous, it’s no wonder people feel dejected, helpless and commit desperate acts oftentimes using social media to garner likes and accolades even for doing things that are heinous.

I’m not a sympathizer. If you do wrong, you pay for your actions. I’m a firm believer in accountability. But as a human being I can still have empathy. I can empathize with those who are lost and struggling. Who try but fail to make sense of things in a world where nothing makes sense. Who struggle to find work and provide for their families. Who feel that they aren’t worthy to be loved. Who feel outcast. And I can have empathy for those who are victims of our pseudo-caste society that says that your life has less value than mine if you are lower down on the chain as deemed by race, age or economic status. Life is life and it is all precious. We don’t get to decide.

We’re all guilty. As human beings, we long for significance and in our society money, looks and fame will automatically give it to you. We ascribe more worth and value to those who have those things and look down on the ones who don’t. As a society, we live in a constant state of worship… of people and of things. A pop star can post a picture of her pregnant belly and the world goes nuts. Reality stars can completely redraw their facial features and create perfect brows and noses with pencils and powder and we think that’s normal. They post pictures of their latest luxury fashion or jewelry score and like sheep to slaughter we run to emulate what they’re doing, whether we can afford it or not, wanting to be like them. And in doing so, like a slow drip, we erode our worth and value as individual human beings and reject the unique masterpieces that we are.

It’s possible to return to sanity. To accept and love ourselves fully and completely, irrespective of what others have or what others say about us. It is possible to adjust our lifestyles to our incomes. And, it is possible to let go of longing for something more and to be completely satisfied with our current condition. And I believe that as we do that, and model contentedness for our children, we create a more perfect world.

I challenge you to let go of the need to be anything other than what you are, always leaving room for improvement if necessary, but fundamentally loving and approving of yourself even if there’s nothing but lint in your pocket. Each of us has been created by God in His image. Don’t let anyone or any ‘thing’ determine your value. And if you are struggling, don’t lose hope. Reach out to someone for help. You never know what tomorrow will bring.

And to all those involved in the Cleveland incident, my heart and prayers are with you.