We live in a very diverse world, with so many different kinds of people. They all live different lives, with different situations. We don’t all like the same foods, or hobbies, or religions, or lifestyles. I feel like there have been many new uproars in the world. A lot of these issues have shown people struggling to accept each other. It seems as if it has turned into a “my way, or the highway” mentality. Why is it that we all have to feel the same way and agree on the same things in order to be friends or even civil to each other? I know there is probably plenty of people who believe a lot of the same things that I do. However, OF COURSE there are still going to be things that we don’t agree on.

Stop the Narrative

Photo by Vera Arsic

We need to stop the narrative that says that we won’t talk to someone who drinks alcohol because we have made the decision not to. The narrative that says that if you are married and I am single, that we can’t be friends anymore. The narrative that tells me that if I choose to cover up while nursing a baby that I must be ashamed of my own body and judge others that choose not do. What about those people that won’t eat any food that isn’t labeled organic, or those people who only eat boxed mac and cheese? What about that person who makes a living being an exotic dancer? Or the person that is on medication for depression? Or the one that has a mansion on a hill, that seems excessive? Or that person, or that one, or this one, or those ones?!?!

Why do we need to understand the way that people decide to live their lives? We all are only trying to do what’s needed to pay the bills, raise our families, get through school, be happy with our lives, find meaning and purpose. Just because someone is different than you DOES NOT mean that they do it wrong, or that you do it wrong. Why can’t we just smile at the person walking past rather than judge for every piece of clothing they are wearing?

Only you can change the status quo

“We can make a difference” Photo by Alexas Fotos

As the human race we are meant to be a part of many different kinds of relationships. We interact with coworkers, strangers, friends, and family on a daily basis. It really doesn’t matter to us if that mom prefers her privacy while feeding her child, or that single mom dances a couple times a week to be a full-time mom to her kids during the week, or that guy just needing to have something for dinner that prepared a pre-packaged meal. WHO CARES!?!

The only thing that we should be doing is accepting people for who they are and treating every person like they are a real person. See the positive in as many people as we can. I have a friend that we have made a decision not to broach a certain subject (yes, I’m not disclosing the subject). Not because we don’t know how to talk but because we are very clear on how the other feels, and we respect that. We’ve talked and debated over it amicably and we know that we aren’t changing each other’s opinions. We’ve accepted that and moved on. We are great friends and have a lot of fun together.

Lift each other up

Sometimes, I feel like there is people who think they can’t support someone if they don’t agree. That is so incredibly wrong. You can still support someone in their decision, love them, an encourage them to do what they need to do, without it compromising your own thoughts. They are making that decision for them and if you care about them, you show support.

For instance, say you have a sister that has just gotten engaged to someone who you think isn’t a compatible match for them. Maybe you don’t see how the marriage could ever last or end happily. Maybe you even have had discussions with them about your concerns for their happiness. However, she is still engaged and is going to marry this guy anyway. Does this mean that you are compromising your possibly valid feelings, if you attend the wedding? Does this mean you should refuse to help with any of the wedding planning, or refuse to go to wedding dress fittings? OF COURSE NOT! You are going to do everything in your power to make sure that your sister has the exact kind of wedding that she is dreaming about. This compromises nothing about yourself, only shows your love and support for your sister.

You can apply this same kind of mentality into any other kind of difference of opinion in other relationships or interactions.

“It’s not difficult to care for our fellow men” Photo by Helena Lopes

Open your mind

It’s been said that the more genuine interactions that you have, and the more people that you meet, the more open minded you are. I think this is very true. Being open minded, means someone who is secure in themselves and their beliefs. Someone who is open minded is someone who has a genuine care for his fellow men. We can all be that kind of person. I am not going to sit here and say that I am perfect and the epitome of an open-minded person. I know that this is something I strive to be every day. I know that sometimes I have bad days and struggle caring about others, instead of myself. I also know that when I run into someone else who is possibly having a bad day that I sometimes have to stop myself from giving them a piece of my mind. We can’t control what everyone else says, or how they act. However, we have control over the things that we say and do. I hope that we can work towards changing the hate that sometimes really seems to saturate the world and work towards creating a better one.

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