In these days of “fake news” and “alternate realities” I have a tendency to dismiss any thoughts or ideas that don’t mesh with my own, and as I interact with others, I would say most of us do that. And that’s a real problem! Instead of rejecting dissimilar thoughts, we need to embrace them and celebrate the fact that we can express them without expecting everyone to agree with us.
When we go to the grocery, we don’t expect to find just one kind of cereal on the shelves. When we buy a new car, we want to have a variety of models to choose from. When we choose a physician, we are thankful to find one with whom we can develop a positive relationship. When we pick a place of worship, we look for one whose spiritual doctrine matches our own.
We are each of us uniquely different, from genetic makeup to familial background to habitation. We are different in size, color, appearance on the outside, and emotions, beliefs, and sensitivities on the inside. It is a mistake for me to expect you to be like me, just as it is a mistake for you to expect me to be like you. No matter how strongly I believe I am correct in my point of view, I have no right to expect that you will agree with me, no matter how loudly I scream at you.
I think we have a problem with entitlement. Not only are we entitled to believe as we do, sometimes in spite of evidence to the contrary, we feel entitled to expect you to agree with me, and if you don’t, you’re just stupid! “My team is the best team in the NFL, and if you like a different team, then you suck!” “How can you possibly like food from ABC? Their chef is the worst!” “My diet is so superior to yours. I’ve lost 25 pounds and you’re still fat! I’m not sure why you aren’t just sick all the time.” “If only the ??? Political Party was in power, all the problems would disappear.”
And it isn’t just opinion and prejudice that are the culprits. Sometimes an “expert” who has studied much and written much will publish a book that sells well; it appeals to a wide spectrum. And yet, just because the “expert” is well known and popular doesn’t mean the story he/she sells is “right” for me. My very physiology may require a completely different reality.
Please! Everyone get off your high horse! Look at everyone dismounting. We’re all the same. We’re all entitled to live our own lives. We don’t have time to live anyone else’s. If we are to continue to exist, then we have to put aside the differences and live our lives and celebrate our lives with one another. All the colors that have every existed in the Universe are in the spectrum, and eliminating even one of them would alter the structure of life irreversibly.
So let’s talk to one another; let’s listen to one another. If what you say resonates with me, then I will try it on to see how it fits. But if it doesn’t fit, don’t reject me because your reality is different from mine.