So for this very special edition of What I Want Wednesday, I've compiled a (very) short list of things I want that can't be found in a store, things that would hopefully make the world a better place, things that I had to really really think about. I hope this might inspire a couple of you to think about the same things. Maybe you'll even make your own list!
Okay, so my (very) short list contains one thing ...for now. There are obviously more things I'd like to have more of in the world, but I feel this one is very important. I chose it because all of the items on the list I originally made somehow connected to this one thing. And I could keep going, but I'll save the rest for later. You ready?
[image credit: weheartit]
No, we can't always agree on everything, nor should we be expected to. Disagreements are part of life, but sometimes I think we disagree just to disagree. If we could just try to see the other side of the argument sometimes, I feel like the world would be so much better.
Religion is a topic where I feel this is especially relevant. It's not something I talk about much, though it's something about which I feel very strongly. Yes, I have my own beliefs, as do most people - whether that means they believe in a higher power or they believe that no such power exists. Yet I'm continually amazed at how some people on from all different belief systems attempt to push their beliefs onto others. I understand that in certain religions it is said that you should teach others about your faith. But it just seems so wrong to tell someone that everything they've ever believed in isn't true, especially when dealing with something as important as religion. I find it totally acceptable for people to state their beliefs and even try to explain why they believe in such things, but if you don't like it when other people push their faiths onto you, why would you push your faith onto others?
I personally believe in God, though I don't practice or particularly agree with any certain religion. I have many friends and relatives who disagree with me, though we manage not to argue about the topic. That's because we can agree to disagree (in most cases, anyway). Everyone has the right to choose what they want to believe in, and I can't tell them otherwise. As such, I expect no one else to tell me what I can and can't believe in. I don't lose respect for anyone upon learning that they happen to be an atheist or that they believe in a different God than I do. You're perfectly within your rights to believe what you want and to state your beliefs. I take no offense when someone says "I don't believe in God." However, "there is no God," is a different story. Don't tell me that I'm wrong for believing in a higher power, and I won't tell you you're wrong for not doing so.
Politics is another area where I feel this is especially relevant. This country is currently in the middle of a huge debate over the health care system. Yesterday it was the War in Iraq, and tomorrow it will probably be immigration issues. I'm glad that many people are so passionate about topics like these - they're very important. But I'm shocked and amazed by the bickering, fighting, and even violence that these debates have sparked. No, I don't expect everyone to actually agree on any such issue - they're too huge and important. But I wish more people from both sides would try to at least look at the other side of the argument. Healthy debates are great, and compromise has to be sought from both sides. As long as respect is practiced, disagreements can be much more tolerable.
This is true with so many debates. I feel like this country has been so incredibly divided along party lines, and we need to get back to thinking about issues on a human level. No one makes decisions correctly 100% of the time. It's just not possible. We're all guilty of it, and we should try harder to recognize that and cut our fellow humans a little bit of slack every once in awhile.
Like I said earlier, I believe that tolerance is tied to so many of the world's problems - Holy Wars, problems in the nation's capital, and countless other disagreements on all different levels. I apologize if anything in this post seems condescending or argumentative - that is not my intent at all. And in no way am I exempt from the comments I made in this post. When referring to "some people" or "they" I include myself in many cases. I have no disillusions about myself being above anyone else in this or any other area.
A few little notes:
I'd love to hear your opinions about the issues I brought up in this post, but as I already mentioned, conversations about such topics have been known to get a little heated. Just keep in mind that the theme of this post is tolerance. You're absolutely invited to disagree with me on anything I've mentioned, just keep everything respectful and I'll return the favor. Though I'm sure I have nothing to worry about with any of you - I just like to be cautious :)
Oh, and thanks for reading if you actually made it through the whole post! I know I can be a little long-winded sometimes when I get started writing about this stuff.