These are certainly interesting times aren’t they! I often think of that old Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times! as we live through current life challenges.
I woke up this morning thinking that one of the things that is lost is integrity around the words we speak (“we” being a general, cultural, even universal word). If we disagree with someone of a different race we are labeled “racist”. If we disagree with someone of a different gender, we are called “sexist”. If we disagree with someone of a different class we are called “class conscious”, “elitist”, “bourgeois” or worse.
Well, guess what….what if what we are doing is just disagreeing with an idea or stance on something? Innocent enough isn’t it? Not in today’s world. We have to all be vanilla, no taste, no flavor, everyone the same. What happened to “Viva la difference!”? What happened to the right of individual thought?
This is a subject way beyond the scope of this blog and way beyond the scope of my understanding. All I know to do in these challenging times is to stay in my center, stay in my own integrity, be true to myself and my values, and to let those people who rant daily about the “left”, the “right”, the “center”, rant, and I will keep an open mind and open heart. I will allow others to be who they are and think as they do, and respect them in spite of our differences. I will listen to all viewpoints thoughtfully and then make up my own mind. We may not agree on everything but certainly just being human makes us more alike than dissimilar in our desires and needs and wants.
So please don’t tell me what to think, what to do, what to believe in. And I won’t tell you. But I WILL listen to you and promise you that I will respect your viewpoint. Last time I checked, this was a country that was built on healthy differences of opinion and compromise and thoughtful negotiations. We embraced people from different backgrounds, economic status, and religious beliefs. Out of the differences we built a country that had variety and “spice” to it!
I guess I am showing my age here, but I am totally bewildered by how things are these days. The wrong seem to be right, the right wrong; the high, low, the low, high; the truth, lies, the lies, truth. It all seems so upside down and twisted.
It feels as if we are all being challenged here. Instead of denigrating, putting down, sneering at those who don’t believe as we do, maybe we should be sitting down with them and really listening to why they think as they do. Maybe we will learn something that will enhance our own way of thinking. Maybe our thinking will be expanded. Maybe we will still choose not to agree but maybe we will just come to appreciate the depth of someone else’s faith or belief or see why they think the way they do.
What do you think about this? And why? Let’s all sit back and listen respectfully to what each of us has to say with no pre-judgement, just an open mind and heart. We may or may not change our own thoughts, but we will be richer by far for having considered a different way of being or a different approach to life.
Hear hear! In the wider picture, what has made this situation as bad as it is is the press, desperate for headlines and to make a sale. Of course, we are all responsible to some degree, at least those of us who buy into it. In the smaller picture, we are each creating this every time we feel insecure and not worth (of whatever). A lot of us respond by lashing out first before the other person has a chance to see how ‘awful and undeserving’ we really are.
Viewing this situation from a wider perspective in this case can be overwhelming. All we can do is start at home, by accepting and loving ourselves first. It is only when we are at peace inside that we can open up to the rest of the world. And it does not have to be the absolute inner peace of Tibetan monks. That can be reached, of course, but every tiny step in that direction will open us up a little bit more, and a little more and a little more.
Ok, enough ranting!
Just lots of Love,
You are so right Monica! “Starting at home” is a great solution. Thank you for your thoughtful reply! Much wisdom here! xo
You said it Diantha! There is so much we can learn from others but it isn’t imperative that we all agree, it is our differences in every area that makes each of us unique. That uniqueness is something we should be proud of and celebrating. It reminds me of this quote by Dan Brown: “We all fear what we do not understand”. More often than not people react simply out of fear of what they don’t understand. Thank-you for sharing.
Thank you for sharing that quote! It is totally on target as is everything you put forth here! I love how we are all different…it makes a rich fabric! We just need to learn how to listen to each other with respect and an open mind and heart. I really appreciate your comments, Shelley! Thank you!