I’m writing this early in the morning on the 4th of July. Well, OK it’s 8am. But that is VERY early for me on a Saturday. Anyway, on the day we celebrate the USA it’s more apparent than ever we aren’t in a good place right now as a nation. There are many reasons why, but I believe many of the disagreements we have with one another stem from forgetting a few simple things.
#1 No two people on Earth hold all of the exact same beliefs. It’s impossible, because no two people on Earth have experienced exactly the same things. Even if you’re an identical twin, only one of you fell of the swings and broke your arm when you were eight. Even if you grew up in the same household only one of you got dumped by text message at 2am. Expecting anyone, or worse yet everyone, to believe all the same things you do is delusional.
#2 Disagreeing with someone doesn’t automatically mean the other person is an idiot. Sure, if the person you are talking to thinks the Earth is flat or vaccines cause autism or pineapple is an acceptable pizza topping, you are correct in assuming you are dealing with a moron. But, disagreeing on the role of the government in healthcare, or whether the UK should have left the EU, or what is the best salad dressing just means you have differences of opinion. Our differences are what make us unique and should be embraced, not ridiculed.
#3 Changing your mind isn’t a character flaw. We are all learning every day – or at least we should be. We are all maturing every day- or at least we should be. If you have all of the exact same beliefs at 45 that you did at 25 you haven’t been doing one (or both) of these things. Admitting you were wrong after learning more is a GOOD thing and not something to be ashamed of. It means you are growing as a person.
#4 Loving someone or something doesn’t mean you think they are perfect. Think about the person you love the most. Whether that be a partner, parent, child, or whoever, you know that person isn’t completely and totally perfect. Your dad might be too stubborn or your spouse might be forgetful. Do you love them any less? Of course not. The same applies to your country. Wanting to make America better doesn’t mean you hate it. It means you love it enough to want it to be the best version of itself it can possibly be, just as you’d want that for your loved ones.
Please keep these things in mind in the weeks and months ahead. It’s going to be a bumpy ride and we are going to need each other more than ever (from a safe distance of course).