In the wake of the tragic events that unfolded at Pulse in Orlando on June 11, my thoughts are deeply disturbed and hurt. I will never understand what depravity could move anyone to destroy another human life out of hatred, no matter what affiliation they have or what cause they are associated with. I hear a lot of arguing going on in social media about whether or not it was religion, whether or not we should push for gun law reform, or even the disagreement over the validity of calling it the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. As far as the last one is concerned, the importance of the accuracy of that statement is irrelevant due to the fact that nearly 50 people are dead, now.

Of course I have opinions on all of those things, but at this time, it is far more important for me to address the fact that dozens of innocent people lost their lives in a reckless act of violence and that those who are suffering need our support.

No one should ever have to get a text from their child saying that the place they are at is being terrorized by a madman with a weapon. They shouldn’t have to read texts from their son or daughter that they are being held hostage and that they are going to die. Can you imagine the horror not only from the victims, but from the parents, friends, lovers, and others who will never see their loved one again? To me, imagining that brings paralyzing anxiety and I cannot fathom having to suffer in the real situation. No one should ever have to experience that.

With every massacre, tragedy, and genocide in history, there were people who were torn from the lives of those who were important to them, and everyone has someone they are important to, even if they don’t know it. These people thought they were going out with lovers and friends to have a great time, just like we all do now and then. But for them, that fun was ripped away, and the memories that could’ve brought joy will be nonexistent to the murdered, and stained with terror for the survivors.

I seek to have empathy for anyone who suffers such brutality at the hands of monsters. I hate to see people forget that and only use these tragedies as an opportunity to push their own agendas. There were wonderful people who went to give aid to the survivors and the families of the victims. We need more of this support for all who suffer, no matter what the atrocity. We need to be shoulders for them to cry on, ears for them to vent their anger and despair to. We need to offer an embrace to them just to show that they have worth and importance in the eyes of their fellow citizens.

All of this bickering needs to stop because it gets us nowhere. We divide ourselves between arbitrary boundaries and that holds us back, keeping us from getting anywhere close to a solution. Right now, we need to be there for these people and show all the love and support that we can. I am writing in concern of those who were affected this Sunday, but these ideas prevail across all tragedies and acts of menace.

I watched a video honoring each of the deceased and my heart sank. These men and women had lives, and values, and interests, and accomplishments. They were loved and appreciated. They were human beings. Their lives were gruesomely destroyed and it just kills me to think that it could’ve been any of my family members or friends, or even me. Life should be treated with respect and compassion and I cannot ever understand what type of hatred defiles that and decides to trash it.

I am grieved and heartbroken and I want those affected by this terror to know that they are loved and are important as human beings, and that they have all of my empathy and support. These people mattered deeply and instead of bickering over opinions, let’s get behind these people and show them what human compassion is about. Yes, there is a need to find solutions, but dividing ourselves and arguing against the objective truths is not going to get us anywhere. There is so much dissension erupting from every corner of society and we need to look at facts, not opinions. One fact is clear as day. These victims have great worth and need us to show them that.