I don’t often write what is going on in my brain. Frankly, it’s a little scary. But, I’ve been thinking about something that I wanted to write down.
We all have quirks. We all have things we believe strongly in. We all do things our own way. Maybe we’re Democrat or Republican. Maybe we don’t believe in getting vaccines. Maybe we give our kids every possible vaccine. Maybe we got scared to death by the swine flu and feel really stupid about it. 🙂 Maybe we think the swine flu is overrated. Maybe we call a pacifier a binky. Maybe we call it a paci. Maybe we believe in God. Maybe we don’t. The point is, we all have differences. And that is what makes us individuals.
I think differences are good. I don’t think I ever want to be the same as the person living next to me. (And let’s face it, that would be boring and a little frightening!) But, it seems that our world is becoming intolerant of those who are different from themselves. Whether it’s a conservative talk show host who cannot say anything nice about a liberal politician or people judging those in church callings who do things differently than they would do – the world is sadly lacking in tolerance.
Hand in hand with this goes the desire to be offended and criticize. As people become less and less tolerant, they are actively looking for ways to be offended. And when they are offended, they criticize. When did that become not only okay, but the norm? I had a good friend in high school who used to say, “Can’t we all just get along?” It was always said jokingly, but seriously, why can’t we? Why must we look for differences with others? Instead of judging another who may believe or do something different than ourselves, why can’t we just get along? We don’t always have to agree to be kind and understanding to others.
This isn’t directed at any one person. I’m not angry or offended by someone being intolerant to me personally. It’s not really a soapbox to demand that everyone become more tolerant. It is just an observation that I have made over the last several months. And with it has come my own determination to be more tolerant of others, whether I agree with them or not. Although, as I sit and type this, I know that is easier said than done. Because I am only human, just as everyone is, and when people are critical and intolerant of me, I naturally want to be critical and intolerant back. And part of human nature is to be judgmental – to look at differences and say, “I can’t believe they do that.” But, perhaps, being more aware will help me be just a little better.