Victoria Jones ,   20, Huntsville, AL

Victoria Jones20, Huntsville, AL

What does humanity mean to you?

Humanity, to me, is one multi-faceted race. People of different skin tones, ideals, belief systems and so forth, bound together by universal themes such as love, laughter, sorrow, a yearning for peace, individuality, and so forth. When I think of humanity I cannot help but think and speak to what I wish it would be, and that is one rooted in introspection and love—being self-aware of ones own vices to better extend grace and compassion to someone else as well as cultivating a heart that seeks to love and embrace others in-spite of vast differences is my hope for humanity and reasoning to how it should be.

Where do you think we need to focus to work past our differences?

God for one! He is neither scared nor surprised by vast differences and/or diversity. He created it. Second, I believe it starts with us. I look at the world, take in the news and see the abstract wars on race, women, and terrorism—you name it– and cannot help but to see we are the issue—our selfishness, our pride, our lines of division. Many of these are inevitable because our minds and mental frame of references are intricate and so far beyond us—most of our ideals and vices were things we were born into, and somewhat shaped sociologically, but ultimately I believe that with God and a heart that seeks to exercise love without bounds or loopholes, we can enable diversity, or differences, to become harmonious. There will always be yielding and areas in which we will never agree or see eye to eye but we can at least try to get an understanding of each other and work to love one another.  This sounds so utopian, I know, but I believe just as racial division, terrorism, etc. have concrete effects and manifestations, I believe love is greater and can equally have powerful manifestations—but once again, the work starts with us.

Let’s talk about balancing a tough concept: On one hand you have the idea that we can be bound together as on, perhaps be colorblind.

I think the concept of being colorblind is a stupid one. Everyone blessed with eye-sight can clearly see that the human race comes in a variety of shade of colors, it does not matter if you are black, white, Asian, Puerto Rican, etctera, our shades are intricate, hereditary but ultimately purposeful– helping us to evolve and adapt to different climates and such. I do not understand why we feel the need to dismiss, ignore, or consider ones color when asked to engage or to come together as one. I am inspired by all shades, cultures, belief systems, even if they are not my own. Beyond humanity, beyond color, love ultimately will grow and eradicate the consideration or entertainment of color, but at the core, love says—I see you, you look different than me, think different than me, act different than me, yet I will extend patience, kindness, truthfulness, etcetera to you nevertheless because I am love and I love you.