Friday, January 25, 2013

There Is Room For All Our Experiences


One of the key human virtues that has the power to heal the world is tolerance. Please do not misunderstand me - I am not saying we should be tolerant of murder, rape and other traumatic and violent acts. What I am talking about is tolerance of people. This means accepting the fullness of human experiences and beliefs that people may have/hold.

Too often I hear people making black and white statements about what people should believe, and how people should be. Such views are narrow and discriminating and place us in a position of alienation from others. Of course it is important to have your own opinions, values and beliefs - that is what makes you you - but my point is this: every time we step into the world of shoulds we start segregating ourselves from the world, and from love.

One of the things that people often judge me for is the fact that I don't want children. "Oh, but you should want children," people say, "Children are such a blessing". Agreed. But I still don't want kids.

Life is abundant, plentiful, vibrant, overflowing with possibility and diversity. This is a good thing. Let's embrace it. There is room for all experiences: there is room for people who have children, there is room for people who want children but choose not to have them, there is room for people who are infertile, there is room for people who have children and give them up for adoption, there is room for people who have abortions. There is room. Period. (Have I upset anyone yet?) Remember the experience of another person that you judge or condemn is often the experience of someone else who is learning and growing and trying to do the best thing they can with the resources they have available to them at that moment.

Let's be compassionate to each other, and allow a full spectrum of experiences and responses, while still holding strongly to our core beliefs.

Photo credit: spectrum on the floor by quapan on Flickr.

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