Tolerance

I’m opinionated person. I know you are all shocked. I have a lot of feelings about a lot of issues. If you ask me what I think, I’ll gladly tell you. Will I try to do it in a way that doesn’t offend you? Yeah, probably. Unless I don’t like you anyway and then I’m going to skip that step. The point is I don’t think it does anyone any good to make people mad with their opinions. Be honest with yourself: do you keep listening to someone’s reasoning after they tick you off? I don’t. Thank God we don’t have those thought bubbles like you see in cartoons, right? So what exactly is the point in hacking someone off by forcing your beliefs and opinions on them?

It amazes me how many people don’t think this way. I have a lot of views that some of the most popular people in this country wouldn’t agree with. I know it and I’m good with it. Some days I would like to go up and loudly voice my own opinion. Sometimes I get mad when I hear other people talk. Sometimes I even chime in with my two cents. But I don’t feel a compulsion to force what I think on other people. I’m not going to insist you listen to me and my reasoning. Chances are good, depending on my mood, I’m not going to want to listen to yours either, so we’ll be even.

I could make a list of all the things I don’t understand or agree with going on in the world right now. But you know what? I’m over here with a clear conscience, secure in my beliefs. And guess what? I’m able to explain that to you like a rational human being. I’m not making snide or off-color comments, even though I’m sure I could. Because what exactly is the point in that? And the truth is sometimes something I hear from a non-threatening, sane person makes me curious enough to re-examine my own opinion. Imagine that.

If we would all just keep in our own lane, can you imagine how much better this life would be? I’m not asking for people to change their fundamental beliefs or always defer to someone else like a wimp. However, if we could all think about our words before we say them and give other people the benefit of having their own lives and opinions, that would be awesome. Maybe stop for a second and try to figure out why you are so opposed to whatever the issue is. Develop your own opinions based on what you truly think and not just what the people around you think. Contrary to popular belief, it’s OK to have an opinion that doesn’t agree with someone else. But it definitely isn’t OK to judge someone else based on what they believe or how they react to what you believe. Quite frankly, I don’t even care if you think it. Fine, think whatever. Screw up your own head all you want. You still don’t have to force that on someone else. It’s really simple. Show some compassion. “Tolerating” doesn’t indicate you agree. Quite the opposite. It indicates you don’t agree, but you go on with your life anyway. Like an intelligent human.

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