Tag Archives: Diversity

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.

Choosing Kindness

17 Apr

We make millions and millions of decisions as we travel through our lives. Some are inconsequential and don’t impact us, and others are more important and can be far reaching. It really won’t matter in the long scheme of things which shirt we decide to wear today, but our lives may be intensely impacted by who we marry, where we work, and with whom we affiliate. If we’re careful and take our time to make the best decisions we can, we may avoid complications, but even then, unexpected things may arise that give us heartburn for a time. Everyone has their own ideas and opinions regarding what they’re doing and what’s happening. If we feel others are missing the mark and we have the right answer, we may disregard them and push them aside. Everyone has something to offer, and nobody knows everything. If it’s important to us that others accept our opinion, we may insist that our idea be the one chosen. We might have the best answer and we might not, but one thing is certain. If we demand that our views are the only ones permitted, we’ll never get the chance to see what others have to offer. We’re entitled to our own opinions, and so is everyone else. Being right might be important, but if we must choose between being right or being kind, what we choose will determine what comes next. Our relationships are important and how we treat them often sets the tone going forward. If we value everyone’s point of view, and treat them with kindness even when we disagree, we will keep the lines of communication open, and protect our connections. We can share our own viewpoints, and be confident in allowing others to share theirs.

Our ideas are important, but not everyone will agree with us. We don’t need permission to do anything we desire, and we don’t need others to align with our choices. However, if we’re in a situation where we must follow someone else’s lead, and we disagree, we can still move forward with grace and patience. We don’t always have to be in control. Everyone has good ideas and there are many roads to every destination. If we must go along with something we didn’t choose, we can do so with determination and focus, and reach success.

If being right is the most important thing to us, in the rush to make others agree, we may forget how important our relationships are. We all want to be heard, and nobody wants to be bullied or pushed around. If we’re sure we have the answers, we can express our opinion with patience and kindness, and then ask for support. Others will be more interested in hearing our proposal if we’re considerate and open to their opinions as well. We are smart and capable, and with patience and grace, will accomplish all our goals.

Today if you’re sure you have the best idea for moving forward, share your thoughts with those around you and allow them to contribute. Be kind and open to other opinions and reach consensus that involves everyone. You are amazing and talented, and can accomplish anything you desire. Build connections as you move forward, and you will reach every destination. Nothing will stop you from achieving success.

Under Cover

20 Dec

People are complicated. They don’t always show us everything they are or what they can do. We all have things we keep to ourselves and some of us hold our cards closer to our chests than others. Sometimes we’re shy, sometimes we don’t have enough confidence to open all our doors, and sometimes we prefer to keep things private. Because we can’t know everything behind the scenes we often make judgments based on what we can see. We don’t know that man at work who dresses funny is an excellent painter who does stunning abstracts. Or that woman at church who is always so aloof spends two days a week teaching reading to underprivileged children. Or our grouchy old neighbor is an accomplished musician who traveled the world performing. If we don’t take any time to know others, all we see is what’s on the surface of those around us. We can’t know what’s beneath the obvious unless we take the time to find out. Saying hello in passing and making judgments based on what’s obvious will only give us part of the story. This world can be a lonely place and it’s hard to feel connected when nobody really knows who we are. We can bring happiness and comfort by asking and letting others share themselves with us. As we get to know each other better we can build understanding and bring unity to our world.

If you’ve ever gone snorkeling in the ocean, you’ve seen some of the different and wonderful things that exist below the surface. It’s a far different world below than it seems when we look out onto the water. The surface may be beautiful but all we can see is the very top of what’s there. Under the water there are countless types of fish, plants, corals and other things that are amazing in their diversity and scope. One could never imagine what is beneath the water by looking only at the surface. It’s the same with us. We can only see what’s on the outside of those around us. We know what they look like and how they react in a limited environment. If we really want to know who they are, we have to dive deeper and spend some time getting to know what’s below the surface.

Some people are very private and it takes a while to get to know them. They have their own reasons for why they keep to themselves, but if we engage them and show we are their friends and can be trusted, they will open up to us and reveal more of who they are. And when they do we’ll be embellished by learning more about them and the connections between us will strengthen. We may forge a bond of trust and respect that wasn’t there before. The whole human race is our family. We belong to it and it belongs to us. Learning about each other helps us understand more and feel closer as we move forward.

Today if you’ve been keeping to yourself and not showing the world who you really are, take a chance and open up. If there is someone you would like to know better, engage them and let them show you who they are. We all have so much to offer. Today share yourself and let others tell you about their lives as well. You’ll feel closer and more connected and your world will expand.

In the Mix

13 Sep

There are a lot of differences in the people of the world. They are different everywhere we go. In some places they look like us, in other places they don’t. Customs vary widely and what to us may seem strange may be commonplace for someone else. In our very mobile society, people continually move from place to place, from country to country, even continent to continent. This mobility has created a lot of diversity in many places, and although it’s fun to learn new things about new people, when we first meet, it can be hard to understand them. Some of us are afraid of the differences, and some of us are excited by them. Either way the differences exist, and it’s up to us to accept them.

If we come from a place that is somewhat isolated, and if we’ve lived there for a long time, it may be harder for us to understand those that are very different from us. We may be nervous about the disparity in customs, the challenge of language barriers, and our lack of knowledge of their beliefs. But if we take the chance to get to know them, we will find that most of us are basically the same despite all the differences. We all want to be happy, and safe, and we all want our beliefs to be respected. If we focus on the basic needs we all share, we can broach the differences, and make them a compliment to the relationship, and not a hindrance.

If we live in a big metropolitan area, where there are, and always have been, people from around the world, it may be second nature to accept differences. But even then, we may have to overcome perceptions and prejudices, ideas about certain groups, and uncertainty about how to communicate. But if we try to see each person as an individual, extend the hand of friendship and try to understand their perspective, we can make friends with everyone. Most of us want to be loved. We want others to like us and we want to get along peacefully. Of course there will always be some who prefer tension and trouble, but most of us want to be friends. Embrace that and trust in it. It takes all kinds of ingredients to make a delicious cookie. It’s not all flour or sugar, and we need all the ingredients to combine and cooperate to have success. It’s the same with people. When everyone is just like us, it may be comfortable. But it’s far more exciting to have others in the mix who bring the richness of difference, and the enhancement of diversity.

Today if you have the opportunity to meet and interact with someone who is very different from you, be open and welcoming. They are probably as nervous about the differences as you are. Extend your friendship and get to know them. You will find your life will be richer, and you’ll have a better understanding of the world. Life is all about difference, but we all share the important things. Make friends and learn something new. You’ll be wiser for the experience.