Differences Don't Always Have to Divide

 
Tolerance doesn't mean what we claim

There is so much uproar today in our country over the new president. I'm looking on my Facebook newsfeed and there is just so much violence and discord and division. It's awful. And when I think of what is causing the discord, it saddens me. Especially when I think of how relationships and friendships are ruined because of this. Differences. I am different from you and vice versa but that doesn't have to divide us. I have friends and family who voted for the now Commander-in-Chief but I didn't throw our relationship out the window. I will admit, it is hard for me to understand what they saw as being worthy of their vote but I don't want the connection we have established way before Trump ran for office to be dissolved. It can definitely pose a challenge to separate the conflicting beliefs of our loved ones from the way we feel towards them but it can be done.

Is a difference worth a friendship? Is it worth a connection?

If their beliefs are not directly affecting your relationship, please preserve it. Don't walk away from something that was once so precious just because you disagree. For most of you reading, we are adults, can we not disagree and still get along? I disagree with so much of what is being promoted as "right" and "okay" in the world but I have friends whose beliefs are not similar to mine and that should be okay. That shouldn't have to come between us. Differences don't always have to divide but when they do, they mustn't cause destruction. As outraged as I was during the time the media was showing the different cases of racially motivated deaths of people with brown skin by many police officers with lighter skin, I would not go out and riot or cause chaos. Not only is that wrong to do but it solves nothing. I understand the pain behind those actions, I get the frustration but the resulting consequences just aren't right.

Many of us are not happy with who is in office now but why does that have to result in bickering and fighting with those who are? I saw friends on FB going back and forth about the recent election and resulting politics and it just seemed very childish to me. Sure, we can disagree and even have a peaceful argument for the sake of understanding one another but when name calling comes into play or insults are tossed out, we need to look at what we're doing. Everyone talks of wanting tolerance and acceptance for everyone but that isn't extended when people express their opposing opinions. If I were to disagree with homosexuality (which I do), I would be called a hater by a lot of people and my opinion on the matter would not be "tolerated".

So what do we really want, tolerance for everyone or for our opinions to be unchallenged by those who disagree with us? One should be able to tolerate the fact that I do not agree with homosexuality and I can tolerate those who do. I'll go a step further, I can love those, be friends with those and spend time with those who do. It doesn't need to be that complicated. As a friend says, it's not that deep. I find it ironic and hypocritical that the moment some people disagree with things such as homosexuality (and I'm using this because it is very provocative), they are considered intolerant, yet those who agree with it are not considered intolerant for not sharing the beliefs of those who disagree. Just because I disagree with you about this doesn't make me intolerant. I'm not going to mistreat you because we have differing opinions and beliefs.

Being tolerant is not agreeing with everyone else's beliefs and opinions, it's being okay if someone doesn't agree with yours and tolerating that fact like a mature adult. Everyone is not going to agree with you or with me, even on subjects about which we're super passionate, and that's okay. We have to stop saying someone is intolerant just because they disagree with us. We also can't mistreat someone just because their views differ from ours. And we must stop getting so divided over our differences.

Comments

  1. You nailed it!!! You are an AMAZING communicator!!! Thank you for sharing your heart!!!

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  2. Thanks so much, this was really troubling me and I had to share my thoughts.

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