The thing that started me on this thought of acceptance happened this last December. Some young people in my apartment complex decided to go Christmas caroling, and I joined them. In the course of our caroling, we sang for both a Muslim family and a Jewish woman. In both cases, we were graciously accepted and thanked. Instead of feeling offended that we would sing Christian songs to them for a Christian holiday, they accepted what we were doing as a good turn towards our neighbors. And I hope that in turn, I would be so accepting if one of my none Christian neighbors did something similar.
So, that's what got me started thinking about acceptance. I have this theory about descriptors and definers, and that sometimes we allow one descriptor of a person to become their definition. So, just because I'm a Utahn (decriptor), does not mean that's all I am and that I fit into all of the stereotypes that come with being a Utahn (definition). I feel like that was something I came across a lot when I was at university--that I was how I was because I was Utahn (or even that I was ways that in reality I wasn't but no one was willing to see that once they learned I was from Utah), when in reality, there are so many things that make up who I am. How much would we miss out on by just deciding that one thing we learn or see about a person is all there is to him or her?
The first thing we need to accept is that people aren't always who we assume. Then, once we learn more about then, we need to accept them for who they are. I work in an environment where when the conversation turns a certain way, I feel a little out of place since I tend to be on the more "unpopular" side of the issue. But I still feel accepted by the people I work with, because they realize that 1) I'm entitled to my own opinions, and 2) that one issue isn't all I am.
I almost feel like we live in an age that would rather thrive on differences than acceptance. It's seems like so many news stories involve someone getting offended over a difference in opinion. Even if we don't like someone's opinion, shouldn't we just accept that they are entitled to whatever opinion they want?
This just seems like a lot of rambling, which I'm sorry for. It seems like my last few posts have just been rambling, but I just felt the need to write a Sunday Special today, so there you go. Just be accepting of each, and be kind.