This is a quotation I have read and reread many times in the last few days. It is so applicable to our world today, and my hope is that we all really read it for what it's saying. So indulge me for a moment.
Humanity is full of different ideas, beliefs and values, and honestly, that's what makes us who we are. I know that in my self-work these last few months, I have really tried to embrace people in the situation they are in, as opposed to where I think they should be; I've worked on acceptance as opposed to expectations. I look at it like this, it doesn't matter what my intent was, if my words or actions upset someone, I need to honestly look at my words and actions. Now this doesn't mean I have to acquiesce to the whim of every person and spend my life living in fear of upsetting people; rather I get the opportunity to learn that my words and actions have power. Every person has a story, and we need to honor that story so that we can speak to, learn from and develop with our fellow humans.
This isn't easy stuff - especially in today's climate. As a society we are all pretty charged up due to a host of national (and international) issues which individually would be overwhelming, but taken together it's too much for many.
We're all tired, we're all experiencing loss for what we thought these last few months were supposed to be, and we're all scared as to what the next few months will bring. Every. Single. One. Of. Us. Ironically, its the one thing we can all seem to agree on, we're scared.
So the next time I find myself wanting make an assumption about some one because of their political party, race, gender, sexual orientation, or belief system, I'm going to focus on believing them as they see it, and not as I think they should see it. I'm not going to be perfect with this, and it's going to take time, but as the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, "The journey of a thousand miles starts with one step."
Let's all try that...