Over the past few months, I’ve come to an understanding. It’s nothing earth shattering, and I’m sure these things have been said before, but I needed the time to mull things over for myself.
Now I can share: I’m less likely to take offense to things people say if I know the individual.
Why is this? I’m empathetic to where they come from and realize that they have a valid reason for thinking the way they do, even if I don’t agree with it. The better I know the person, the more leeway I give their opinions.
Take the same words, said by someone I don’t know, and my first reaction is to be offended. For example, a friend says something that I disagree with. I’ll usually stay out of the conversation, and maybe even think “bless your heart” (a slight assimilation to southern living). But if one of their other friends steps in to agree or expand on the topic toward their angle, I get defensive about my ideals and think “how can she listen to people like that?” Or “I can’t believe there are people in the world that buy in to that propaganda!” And, well, you know… I’m sure you’ve thought similar things.
But don’t worry, I get over it.
And now, more than ever, it doesn’t bother me beyond that initial gut reaction.
It rolls off—the natural man is conquered, at least on this front.
After all, I don’t want to give other people’s words power to corrode my mood for the day.
With all the contention in the world right now—even in our own communities—I think the best way to peace is to get to know each other. That’s the easiest way to combat judgmental behavior. After all, the majority of people want the same thing (peace, helping those less fortunate, etc.), we just have different ideas on what we think is the best route to get there.
Knowledge can equal kindness. Who do you need to understand more?