R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Find Out What It Means To Me
A couple of weeks ago I wrote a blog. I wrote because I was inspired, and when I become inspired by something, I create. The blog that I wrote was generally about same-sex marriage, and because I was bold enough to make a statement on it, I did get a lot of backlash. Although I do have an opinion on what's right or wrong, I do want to mention that I never gave my opinion about that in the blog. Yes, the blog was about same-sex marriage, but it wasn't against the people who aren't for it. (In fact I quoted the Bible many, many times to make my point. And if you're a Christian and you're denying God's word, then I don't know what to say.) So anyway, I wrote the blog, and it's done. This week is for those of you who didn't agree, and I'd go so far as to say, were offended by what I wrote. This week is about respect.
Now before I start, I do want you all to know, I wrote that blog without any ill intention. In fact, if I do say so myself, I believe that I did everything in my ability to write it in a way which would respect both parties being considered. If you were offended because I did something out of line, I'm sorry. However, if you were offended because I spoke out on the topic respectfully, and quoted the Bible "against" the belief that the topic was wrong, I'm not terribly sorry. You see, change is an essential part of the human experience. We are built to adapt to our surroundings, physical and emotional. Things in life change, and with that we must try to be open minded when it happens. Although not many people care for change, change is something not just important but necessary. And if I didn't touch base on this last week, I will this week, there is nothing worth doing that isn't scary. Change is terrifying, but change is good. Taking that chance to change your life and your beliefs for yourself, or for others, for what you feel is right, may be the scariest thing in the world, but that's how you know that it's worth doing.
With that said, I want to talk about love. We've all been looking for the answer to life but science can't tell us, theorists and philosophers can't put their finger quite on it, and it doesn't exactly say it in the Bible. I may be wrong, but I believe that the answer to life is, love. Love is the thing that allows us to have compassion for others, and passion to make changes for the better. I believe in love that is pure, unbridled, and passionate. For ourselves, for others, and every creature that walks on the Earth. With this love not only can we chose to help others and lend a hand, but we can chose to share that love and be the change that we wish to see in the world. Passionate love is the veterinarian that says she can save your dog even after every other vet has turned you away, passionate love is the love that teachers have to help students learn at all costs because that's their calling in life, passionate love is the preacher who does everything in his might to speak out to the teenager that sits alone and sinks in his seat. Passionate love is everywhere, but where there is passionate love there may also be passionate hate. Hate for other people that go against what you believe with all your heart is right. For every belief you have there is someone, somewhere that believes full-force in the exact opposite.
So when everything is clashing and love can not be the answer for two determined souls, I believe that the answer is to coexist. And the answer to coexisting is, respect.
Respect is what we were taught in elementary. "Treat others as you would like to be treated." Unfortunately that golden rule didn't sparkle brightly enough for some people. (I know that because of being bullied... Read about that in my bullying blog.) Respect is the age old thing that most people should do, but don't. Respect is to listen, and understand that although you may believe, you may know for a fact, that you are right, you go on your way when the opposing view feels exactly the same about their opinion.
There are so many different people in the world; especially with the media today and everyone always sharing their opinion, it's seemingly impossible to "love thy neighbor." What about when my neighbor is a wack-o that really thinks pigs fly at night? Well, you know what? Maybe pigs do fly at night, and who's to say that your neighbor is so wrong? And even if they are, is it really worth your time and effort to fight them on it, leaving both of you feeling hurt in the end? What if you just nodded and smiled, thinking in your head what you may, when your neighbor told you all about those flying pigs? What if you just went on with your day?
See that's the thing, sometimes people are so passionate to be the neighbor that says "no, you're crazy, pigs don't fly." And sometimes that's okay. I'm not saying to sugar coat anything, it's okay to give your opinion, and it's definitely okay to think and believe in whatever you want to believe, even if it is something seemingly off-the-wall. But it's not okay to constantly tell people that they're wrong, it's not okay to shove your opinion down someones throat. They may be wrong, but you may be wrong too. Here's the thing, it's not about what's wrong or right, it's about respecting the other persons opinion.
You should respect everyone's personal opinion, as should I, as should everyone else. Everyone should respect each humans right to think what they want. Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Just because something makes someone else happy, doesn't mean it has to make you happy too.
So, do you see what I mean? Perhaps this was too long and drawn out, but I hope I got the point across. When you simply can't "love thy neighbor" at least try to respect thy neighbor.
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PS: If you do not like a blog someone has written, considering a blog is solely an opinion based article, perhaps you should not read.