It’s Okay

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Thoughts while #onthebus

It’s okay to love people who think differently than you.

It’s okay to love people who have different political opinions.

It’s okay to love people with different religious beliefs and backgrounds.

I think the fastest way to find common understanding is through love and acceptance.

Love people where they are at right now. Don’t make your love conditional on their political, religious or moral beliefs.

Don’t try to change people.

No one is going to change just because you want them to.

People don’t change because you preach to them about your political beliefs.

People don’t change when you insult their beliefs.

People don’t change by reading a political or religious Facebook meme.

People change only when they open their hearts.

Next time you want someone to understand your beliefs, religion or politics try telling your own story.

Share your personal experiences in life.

Share your feelings.

I learned this the hard way. I was a big anti-war activist after 9/11. I was angry, my heart was broken, I marched, I preached, I judged, I blasted emails, I lectured people. I got depressed. I was hopeless. I lost all faith in America. I got bitter. I got sick. I was unhappy. I pushed my friends and family away. If they didn’t think the way I did, they were wrong, stupid, mean, bad, or ignorant. Then one day I woke up and realized, how can I expect world leaders to create peace if I couldn’t even do it among my own family and friends.

I pretty much repeated that whole cycle during the beginning times of the Prop 8 / Marriage Equality movement. I was easily triggered and easily hurt by other people’s comments and Facebook posts. I’d even cry when reading posts from certain people. I posted memes, political statements and wanted to be heard and seen for who I was. It wasn’t until I started just sharing my own personal life story that people from all different religious and political backgrounds started listening to me.

Today I am feeling grateful for all my friends and family who think differently than me. Sometimes their Facebook posts cause a twinge of reaction but I am able to take a step back and smile knowing we are all just doing our best to get through each day of this complicated thing called life.

2 thoughts on “It’s Okay

  1. Jenny

    I agree wholeheartedly with this post and think you said it perfectly. You can’t crawl into the little cracks in another person’s heart with an entire group strapped to your back. You have to get in there as one person and use your story to show the other person that it’s not an “us against them” scenario. It’s all “us.” There is no “them.”

  2. Pingback: What is your story? - Sally Around the Bay

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