One of my very best friends has completely opposite political views from me. Crazy, right? We don’t agree on politics in most aspects, yet I call her my best friend. She remains one of my best friends, despite our inability to agree. We avoid hot topics altogether. If it might start an argument, we don’t discuss it. We tease each other about our differences a lot. Politics, in particular, became a joke between us and actually turned our differences into a fun part of our friendship.
When I see a social media post prefaced with, “if you disagree with any part of what I’m saying, unfriend me,” it makes me sad. If I would have done that 10 years ago, I would not have this particular best friend in my life. I would have given up the chance to meet some new mom friends in town. I would never have enrolled my child in cheer at a church that is not my religious affiliation.
I refuse to push people away simply because they are different.
As a society, we constantly share posts and studies that talk about teaching our children to love and accept others, despite our many differences. Even though we know how important acceptance is to teach our children, we tend to forget that we need to lead by example. Instead of showing our children how we can embrace our differences, many of us set out to eliminate people from our lives simply because they do not share our beliefs.
Look at your friend list, the contacts in your phone, your clients, your patients, and your family. If you rid your life of anyone who has a different religion, raises their children differently, or votes for the other party, what you have left is a very boring, agreeable, list of about three people.
When you basically post “if you disagree, I hate you” or “if you disagree, you must be stupid” it shows more about your inability to accept others’ differences than it says about those that happen to disagree with your opinion.
Tell me how you embrace differences in your life.