In the recent weeks, natural disasters have claimed hundreds of lives, displaced thousands of people, and devastated cities around the world. In the United States alone, there have been more mass shootings than days this year. Sunday night, at least 58 people were killed and more than 500 people injured. In addition to tragedies happening here at home, protests, referendums, separatist clashes, and nuclear tensions continue internationally.

Looking at the news lately has been so overwhelming and it's difficult to figure out how we can contribute beyond donations and circulating important information. While living among forces that aim to divide us, our greatest form of resistance is unity. That can easily sounds idealistic and vague, but there are small ways we can change the world through our everyday actions. Kindness and empathy are simple acts to stay connected in turbulent times. It's important to practice tolerance and understanding of others because we never know what somebody else is going through.

We are all human. There is no us and them. We need to look at ourselves first, work on ourselves, and by reaching out to our community, setting a good example, aim towards being a positive force in our environment.

Words by Jiyan Zandi