In a world with so much diversity of cultures, backgrounds and religious preferences why does it always seem as though we’re somehow meant to get along? Beliefs and practices are as dissimilar as night and day, and yet…when we don’t accept and tolerate those which are different from ours, we can be shamed and publicly humiliated. Does it really make sense to automatically be open to these obvious disparities or is it possible to stand tall with your own opinion and retain the dignity of individuality?
With so many exceedingly controversial subjects these days about practices, lifestyles, and faith it’s almost unthinkable to walk 3 steps without being exposed to and included in a conversation about one. However, these topics are so emotionally charged for people that it’s seemingly impossible to have any kind of differing perspective without being attacked, judged, ridiculed and unfriended. I know many who’d rather choose to avoid a situation like that (to the point where they’re willing to keep all personal exchanges completely superficial rather than enjoy the depth of connection that can amount from an honest and sincere conversation) or steer clear of social events entirely.
It strikes me as being very sad and counterintuitive when the idea of having a chat about something can actually create social isolation. In our day and age, we find the majority of humankind to be plagued by aspects of alienation and disconnection…leading to varying but progressing levels of depression, loneliness and self-hatred…or at the very least, severe dissatisfaction in life. So why are we so quick to throw each other under the bus when we don’t see eye to eye?
While I absolutely love and accept people from all walks of life and welcome the aspects of uniqueness and originality that come through them in their thoughts, actions and appearances…this doesn’t mean I always believe or agree with how they see things or what they’ve said. In fact, sometimes I really cherish the variety of views over the monotony and similarities that can come from choosing to stay within your comfort zone. I see it as a beautiful experience to be able to hear someone speak their truth and come to understand why they think that way and how their mind ticks. Without variation we’d live in such a boringly dull world!
That being said, the ability to enjoy learning from their perspectives doesn’t mean mine will suddenly change. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t…but does that matter? Is it impossible to stand on two sides of an issue and still get along in so many other ways? Why does it have to be all or nothing? Isn’t it possible to hear people out for what they want to make known, speak what we choose…and use these personal distinctions as reasons to appreciate each other and rarities that we bring with us? I believe that we’re all as individual as snowflakes or fingerprints. We each have something amazing to offer, but we must also be open to accepting that in others as well. When we learn to open ourselves up I think we’ll find it not only possible to agree to disagree, but we’ll actually find it to be quite empowering!