We Are All Connected
Take people for who they are. Take people on how they treat those who can do nothing for them. Take people for the quality of their heart and soul. These are the true measures of the human race. You don't have to agree with them to make it so.Credit: Women on the Edge
You just have to release the need to prove them wrong.
Several years ago I, along with a friend of mine, was sitting on the sidelines of my step-son's soccer game. Watching the little kids run up and down the field, while family and friends cheered them on, was one of my favorite things to do. As the game came to an end and we were making our way across the field to the parking lot, a young child about six or so was walking with his father just in front of us. The little boy kept stealing glances back at my friend, when out-of-the-blue the child pulled on his father's hand and said in a matter of fact tone; “Daddy, look at the woman, she is so fat." The father, glancing back said to his son; "She sure is kiddo." I was horrified. Even more so when the father went on to tell his son people that fat were lazy and shouldn't be out in public. I looked over to my friend and was thankful to see her engrossed in a conversation with my nephew that she hadn't heard the exchange. I was furious. I looked at this father and son walking across the field, right-as-rain, and thought to myself, lazy? This coming from a man that I knew drank his lunch most days, hadn't worked in more than three years and lived off unemployment and state aid for no other reason than he didn't want to look for work. He was calling my friend lazy?
Another friend of mine is a single dad. Recently, he took his five-year-old daughter to a park not far from their home. As he was sitting on the bench watching his little girl laugh with delight each time she went down the slide, he noticed a group of women starring at him. Before long two of them marched over to him and demanded to know what he was doing starring at the little children and proclaimed that they were going to call the police. What was a lone man doing at a playground? Calling him a pervert loud enough for the kids to hear as they strode away. He quickly collected his daughter and left.
Credit: Women on the Edge
I overheard parts of a conversation that a table full of teenagers was having the other day while out to lunch. They were discussing ways that they could help a newcomer to their school acclimate and make friends. They appeared angry at the reception she had received so far and that even the teachers were not all that inclined to get involved. One girl piped up that she would do whatever was needed but that they couldn't do it at her home because her parents would never approve of her being friends with a foreigner, especially one that was still learning English. She went on to say to her friends that she didn't care what her parents believed, she was going to be friends with the new girl, but thought it best not to let them know.
There is not one person in this entire universe that is perfect. Each and every one of us has flaws. Visible and invisible flaws that we are, for the most part, well aware of. Skinny people are told to eat more. Overweight people are lazy and told to exercise. Beautiful people are dumb and unattractive people are revered for their intelligence. People who swear are horrible and people who worship differently are going to hell. Men can only love women and women can only love men. Men are the breadwinners and are noted for their prowess and take charge attitudes. Women doing the same are labeled "bitch" and horrible mothers because they chose to work too. The old are no longer viable in the workplace, yet the young are incapable as well and lack the experience to do things right. People from foreign lands are looked at with disdain and fear. Religions battle each other over whose god is the right god and who has the keys to heaven.
Blood is shed, lives are ruined and entire generations are affected. All because people fear that which is different, that which they do not understand and that which goes against their personal belief systems. People live and die by their perceptions.
Credit: Women on the Edge
People are not seen as they are. People are seen as we are. Our perceptions, our history, and our very being determine what we see and how we react to each and every person we see, meet and interact with. People should not have to be "tolerated" for being different than us, tolerated means that they are somehow wrong, inferior or lower than we are. Just because someone worships differently or not at all- does NOT in fact make them a horrible person. It makes them different from you. Just because someone worships in a church, synagogue or temple - does in fact NOT make them wrong. It just makes them different from you. People from other parts of the world are not all terrorists. Women do not have to have children. Men can cry at movies and still be manly. Different is not wrong. It is just different. There are some people in the world who need to just accept that. Live and let live and focus on themselves, their lives and their families and worry less about what others are doing.
We are different from one another in big ways, small ways and in the nuances that make us who we are. I honestly have thought long and hard the past couple of days about a question I put to my fans on the Random Thought's Facebook page; "We live in a world filled with diversity. Why do you think then, that people are completely intolerant of others who are not just like them? What can we do to make that better?" I regret my choice of the word intolerant. I will not tolerate certain actions. I will not tolerate certain behaviors in my life. Tolerating is a personal level of comfort to what one will and will not accept in one's life. A better choice of word would have been - release. Why can't we release the notion that people need to be just like us to be good? Why can't we release old outdated notions that have no basis in today's culture? Why can't we release our fear and just accept the fact that not everyone is like us? Realizing that is perfectly acceptable because they do not have to be.
Credit: 52 Weeks of Peace/Peace Starts Here
I do not care what you do for a living. I do not care if you own a home, rent a studio, or live in a commune. I do not care how much money you make, the car you drive or even which football team you cheer for. I do not care how much education you have or position you hold at your job. I do not care if you are tall and skinny, short and skinny or round and jolly. I do not care how you worship, if you worship or when you worship. I do not care if you are old or young. I do not care about the color of your skin, your choice of partner or whether you eat meat or not. I do not care simply because none of these things determine your worth as a human being in my eyes.
Yes, there are evil men in this world but you cannot judge an entire gender on them. Yes, there are beautiful people in this world that are ignorant, there are just as many less attractive ones that are too. Yes, there are women getting married to other women and no that does not in fact jeopardize the entire human race. Yes, some fat people are lazy and some skinny people do have eating disorders but to judge every single thin or overweight person by these measures is ridiculous. The time to release all preconceived notions of how people are strictly based on our perceptions of them, and the accepted stereotypes, is now.
Release the need that everyone in this world has to be just like you. Understand that the actions of one, do not dictate the actions of all. Take people for who they are. Take people on how they treat those who can do nothing for them. Take people for the quality of their heart and soul. These are the true measures of the human race. You don't have to agree with them to make it so.
You just have to release the need to prove them wrong.
9/9/2013 06:06:08 am
"Release the need that everyone in this world has to be just like you..." Brilliant and liberating! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
9/10/2013 11:22:40 am
Thank you so much Karen. I appreciate the comment and your support!!
9/9/2013 09:11:21 am
I appreciate the term release as I am not fond of the word tolerate. My reasons are different from yours. Tolerate leaves a judgement and prejudice all ready preconceived. I will either accept or (now) release. Thanks for your thoughts!
9/10/2013 11:24:15 am
You know Robin the more I thought about the word "tolerate" the more it bothered me. Just for the same reasons you stated above. I am so glad that "release" felt better for you too! Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and for reading!!
Beautiful post. I recently told someone that I was not aware of prejudice until I was in my teens. I was raised military, and consequently was part of a 'melting pot' culture at an early age. I still cringe when I hear or witness incidents that you describe. Kudos for your powerful post.
9/10/2013 11:26:10 am
9/15/2013 04:03:04 pm
You have inspired me to release some of my jobs that aren't really mine to begin with. Take a breath and enjoy life for once.
9/16/2013 01:22:05 am
Kelly I am thrilled to read that. It is one of the most important life lessons I have learned recently and honestly, one I still struggle with. Take more breaths and dig into your life!! You deserve it. Thank you for taking the time to comment!!
9/15/2013 04:08:06 pm
I'm sorry. The last comment I left was for the blog you wrote on 9/15. My mistake. I'm sure this one was excellent as always.
9/16/2013 01:22:38 am
No worries my friend - I gotcha!
9/18/2013 04:21:40 am
U rock Jenn!! I just loved this and it just gives such a new outlook to look at people..Keep going...
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