One of the beautiful things about our world is that we are all very different and each bring a unique perspective and outlook on life. Unfortunately, we have become a society where it isn’t OK to be different and we are often attacked for our beliefs or the way we choose to live our lives. It happens in every community across the country and it doesn’t say a lot for how we have evolved.
My brother and I were brought up to respect all people. Race, gender, religion, sex or any other category were blind to us as we were to look at each human being for who they were. We were taught that every person has equal value and that our beliefs were just that, ours and should never be forced onto someone else. We knew to do right by people, be good to people, let people live their lives and accept people for who they were.
Our world today has become a much different place. We aren’t allowed to express our views without being attacked. We aren’t allowed to live our own lives without judgement from others. We are constantly asked to conform to what others want us to be, rather than just allowing us to be who we are. The stress that puts on us as individuals, especially those who have a great need to be a part of the mass, is incredible and often leads to unfortunate consequences.
My philosophy has always been, who cares! As long as you aren’t physically or emotionally hurting someone, how you live your life is just that. I never understood peoples’ need to attempt to force others to their way of thinking. I always try to hear both sides, whether I agree with them or not. My guess is, if we spent less time focusing on what others are doing and spent more time getting right with our own lives, there would be a lot less time for intolerance to develop.
Several years ago I wrote a post on my personal Facebook page that I thought was appropriate to this topic and I wanted to share it with you. This is not a political statement, it is a life statement and just my mantra that I try and live by each and every day.
I don’t accept labels placed on people, we are human beings.
I don’t buy into rhetoric, I believe in facts.
I don’t hate those that hate, I wish for them a better life.
I don’t love differently, I love with my heart.
I don’t hurt differently, I feel the same pain.
I don’t choose to be afraid, I choose to live.
I don’t live differently, I live to make another day.
I don’t hate being different, I embrace it.
I don’t fear life, I live it.
We are often too quick to make judgement when we don’t even know the person that we are judging. Wouldn’t the world be a much better place if we all just got along? Children are not born being intolerant, they learn it. Adults aren’t forced to be intolerant, they choose to remain that way. My hope is for a better world where everyone is accepted and celebrated for who they are and I have to believe it can happen. I do believe it can happen if we all just try a little harder.
Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.