We’re More Alike Than Different
One great thing about 2018, is our ability to see the world from our phones. I can travel anywhere, see the cool local spots, see what the food is like, or get a glimpse into what makes the place tick. But no matter where I visit, when I see people, I believe this: everyone wants to live with dignity, wants to earn a living to support their family, wants to be loved and feel like they belong.
I learned acceptance from my (great) Aunt Dorothy. She accepted everyone exactly as she found them. She wasn’t a doormat or an air head. Far from it. But she was able to see the good in people. She looked for a way to relate to them. A religious and spiritual person, she never spoke of or pushed her beliefs. She seemed to act as if honoring each person was her religion.
Tolerance is Not Enough
When I hear or read about ‘tolerance,’ I get a knot in my stomach. Is it right that we simply tolerate/put up, with each other? I don’t believe so. When we honor our differences, we honor the good in all people. The world would be a very boring place if we were all the same. If we all liked the same food, same music, same people… it would be awful. Differences are what make the world interesting and what helps us to grow.
As I look at my own attitude towards ‘difference’, I am checking to make sure that I am truly embracing those who look or believe differently from me. My human job, is to see the good in people. Regardless of our backgrounds and beliefs. I think we fundamentally agree on a few things. We need good jobs, we have the right to pursue happiness, etc. We differ in how to achieve those goals for our fellow citizens.
For the holidays, I am working on listening to the people I don’t agree with and truly hearing their side, and argue or state my case. Just listen. For these couple of weeks, I am going to try to hear what the other person is saying and understand, why, what they are saying, is true for them.
I’m hoping that if I can just listen and not answer, try to convince, argue, etc., maybe I will come closer to being like my Aunt Dorothy.
Image credit: 24 Hilarious Dogs with captions