Thin Skin

7 Aug

There are all kinds of people in the world and they each have their own ideas about life and how things should go. We know who we are, and are sure about what we want and how we want to move forward. It’s easy to make friends and feel comfortable when those around us are like us. When they believe the same things we do, and understand our point of view, it’s easy to connect and build alliances. But the world is a big place, and people come from many diverse backgrounds. There will be many others who are vastly different than we are, and their views may be in direct opposition to what we believe is right. That does not make them wrong, or wicked, or less than us. It only makes them different. If we can’t tolerate anything outside our own ideas, it will be very difficult to interact with them. We are entitled to believe anything we desire and we can form our own opinions about everything in life. But if we’re so thin skinned we cannot tolerate anyone who is different, it may be difficult for us to get along. Some people say they “celebrate diversity” but when someone questions their ideas and presents an opposing view, they shut down or become angry. No two people are exactly the same. Everyone has their own perspective, and unless they are hurting others, each has value. We don’t have to adopt anything we don’t want, and can decide how we’ll live our own lives. We can be confident in our views, and strong enough to accept other points of view, even if we don’t understand or agree with them. Life is full of variety and variation. We can be welcoming and respect other points of view, and still hold onto to what is most important. Everyone has worth, and we can honor each individual, and still choose our own way forward.

When we’re growing up, what we experience in our families seems normal and right. As we mature, we begin to see other expressions and understand that our experience is unique to us and not universal. We can hold onto exactly what makes us comfortable and refuse to change, or we can embrace other points of view and allow them to enrich our understanding of the world around us. Holding on may feel comfortable, but will never allow us to expand our thinking and become more accepting.

Life would be easier if everyone was the same. If we were all on the same road with the same ideas, there would be less conflict and more harmony. That may be true, but it’s the differences that bring great richness to our experience, and broaden our thinking. We can accept difference and uniqueness, and honor the right for everyone to express their own ideas and viewpoints. Life is a great teacher, and by being open and welcoming, we will gain great insight and wisdom.

Today if you want everyone to agree with you and find it hard to accept different points of view, remember we are all important and worthwhile. Each expression has value. Be open to new ideas that will enhance your experience and help you understand the world. You are incredible and capable, and nothing is beyond your reach. Let others tell you who they are, and welcome new ideas. Your life will be enriched, and you’ll find great satisfaction moving forward.

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