Acceptance Is a Beautiful Word

David - Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Entered on August 28, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: tolerance
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What separates human beings? Is it geography, race, ideology, religion or politics? All these things have been the source of conflicts since Cain slew Able, but is there something deeper that causes the schism?

At one time in my life I was very judgmental; my beliefs, thoughts, and world-view were fundamentally correct, but ridged. Others not conforming were devalued. If you did not belong to my religion, race, political party, community, sexual orientation or socio-economic group, I judged you inferior. Even if you had similar beliefs, when you disagreed, you would be punished for daring to deviate.

This attitude made me an island where only a few people were allowed and then only when acquiescing to my superior intellect. When you did not you were expelled from my island. My isolation became darker and lonelier; I know I’m right!

This pattern of thought precluded the reality of a huge unexplored gray area existing between polar opposites. Rigid positions create extremes in politics, or having one religion held in higher standard of perfection, condemning others who have not been so enlightened, judging them as “not okay.” This attitude is what causes the majority to persecute the minority, because you are different you must not be okay, and I have my majority position to justify my beliefs.

When my isolation was complete, my darkest of days, I reached out and found a different way of living. I discovered that the root cause of my unhappiness was my habit of thinking in absolute terms. When I held an absolute position about anything, I would put a label on it so I could judge whether it is good or bad, right or wrong, for me or against me, or my way or the highway. Some of these labels where racial, sexual-oriented, political, or gender condemnation; differences could not be tolerated!

I regret those harsh attitudes and now live in a wonderful world of “live and let live.” I learned about the gray that exists between the black and white of absolute terms. The more I expand that area of gray, the more peace I have in my life.

To me, acceptance is the most beautiful word in any language; this beautiful concept can only exist when I allow others to be who they are, and not imprisoning them by my definitions of what is okay. This expansive area of gray, allows you to live your life and me to live mine, in acceptance we are set free! This simple change of thought has created a wonderful space for happiness to thrive.