Saturday, July 9, 2016

Intolerance Is Not Love

I posted something yesterday on my twitter feed and within a short time, I lost well over 50 followers.  I lost count at some point because they were coming in so fast, I could not keep up.  It amazes me just how intolerant people are.

I realize gay marriage can be a volatile topic, but I try to be very respectful, warm, and compassionate in all that I write and share.  I don't try to force you to believe in what I do, but I don't shy away from putting out there in the world, that which impacts my life.  I try to stay open to all things, all thoughts, views, beliefs and actions.  Sometimes I may fall flat on my face doing this, but I try hard.

Many of the profiles that unfollowed were of "enlightened people" or at least that is what they claimed.  Some of the profiles claimed love and tolerance and being open.  Some gave the impression that they were the best people in the world.  It surprised me reading some of the profiles because either those are just words they wrote, or they don't understand what they wrote in the profile.

I step outside my comfort zone...

You will not see me back away from issues because they are too tough to deal with in our world.  I know that the only way I can learn and grow is if I step outside of my comfort zone.  Now, don't get me wrong in what I'm saying here.  There are plenty of things that I see which absolutely don't resonate with me and even if I step outside of my comfort zone, I don't bathe in them.

Welcoming thoughts and ideas and beliefs you don't agree with helps us understand one another and it helps us to grow.  It does not mean we have to agree or disagree with these things.  It does not mean we have to embrace them.  We can expose ourselves to them and then see how they apply to our own life.  It means that we can evaluate them and then decide what we want to do with these thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and opinions.  It can help us understand another individual from a new perspective.

It is not love...

To categorically reject something you see posted is shortsighted in my mind.  It is not what makes a thinker great.  It is not what makes a person truly human in my view.  It is not love.  It is intolerance.

I was saddened yesterday when this happened and I was grateful that a few encouraged me publicly and privately.  I try to be a very caring and respectful person, so when that many reject one little tweet I made, it really hurts.  I'm sensitive and I don't deal with rejection very well.  It was the absence of love and tolerance.

I want to challenge us to be more than we are.  I want to challenge us to include more people than we do.  I want to challenge us to listen more than we do and allow some other thought, idea, belief or opinion to look us straight in the eye.

As a civilization, I think we can be more than we are.  I think instead of intolerance being the new norm in life, we can rise to meet the possibilities of the future.  We can rise up with love.  If we walk hand in hand, we will be stronger, than if we cut the hands off of our fellow humans.

To those that unfollowed, I'm sorry that you decided to do this.  I hope you will reconsider and challenge yourself to greater heights.  I hope you will help me understand things that I don't understand or know at this moment.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2016 by Don Shetterly
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