We tell one another to be open and be ourselves. In theory we are quite liberal with our rights and freedoms. We are being taught how to have a more inclusive, diverse society where no one is to be ashamed of who they are; or so it seems.
Yes, that is the message, but is it the result? Every day I see discrimination on so many levels. Not only enemies, but also between peers, between two supposed allies; there is still discrimination.
You tell me to be happy so I cheer and get excited over my successes; you call me cocky. You tell me to let out the emotions and not to hide them, so I cry. As a male crying there seems to be a stigma attached, you may have heard the term “man up.” We all want to fall in love, but mock those who show affection in public. You say be yourself, but we try new hobbies and are scrutinized for attempting to broaden our horizons.
So, what does it all mean? This is simply one aspect in which we are ironically hypocritical. Our personalities are shaped by not only biological factors but the environment too. We may have these pre-determined behaviours, but this discriminatory type of behaviour is adaptive, yet can change with effort. We need to attempt to change the thought processes, alter the way we view differing opinions and interests.
Home is known as a place of warmth, love and tenderness; yet people view the outside world as a cold-hearted, wasteland. As much as we believe we live in such an open society, I don’t believe we are being honest with ourselves. Yes, we’ve come a long way from what it used to be, but the game isn’t over. It’s not a matter of simply accepting these people who differ from the norm, it’s a matter of including them and treating them with dignity.
This goes for anyone in any race, religion, sexual orientation, and cognitive capability. Everyone has to step up and make a change in attitude and behaviour, but it can start with one. Individuals need to cease judgment of our fellow brethren, let us allow one another to live life to its full potential. This potential can only be met if we don’t deny another individual’s freedoms. How many times have you shied away from doing something because you were scared what others would say? How often does the crowd influence you? Let’s allow people to spread their wings and embrace their inner selves. Yes it may be odd to you, but it more than likely won’t cause a negative effect in your life.
Love yourself, but love everyone else too. I understand people can be ignorant, rude, impatient, even asinine, but we’re all essentially attempting to reach the same end-goal: happiness. I think we can all admit this journey is stressful at the best of times, so let’s cut each other some slack. It’s not even about just doing good deeds. It’s about connecting with our brethren in hopes to create a better society for ourselves, for our peers and for the future generations to come.
Everybody makes mistakes and everybody has ignorant moments. But, everyone also has the capacity to love, the capacity to be compassionate, empathetic, and to treat others with the courtesy and dignity we all feel entitled to. You don’t need to know someone’s story to know that they carry stress and that they’re looking for happiness just like we are. So let’s cut some slack to ourselves, to each other and let’s continue to drive down this path to create some magic. There is no need to react with intense anger towards the bad driver, to mock those who spit out the wrong answers, and no need to judge someone based on appearance/initial reactions. These judgments are indicative of how we will interact with these people; positively or negatively. Let everyone start with the same slate.
I believe in myself, but I believe in everyone else too. We all have potential we just need to realize it.
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