Why we must learn to love people different than us

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For some odd reason, we humans don’t seem to like those different than us.

Perhaps it’s because we are afraid of the unfamiliar, or maybe that we are afraid of change. God knows how much we are all hate change.

Whatever it may be, we don’t like people different than us. However, this is something that, as a human race, we desperately need to change.

Looking back on the history of the world, minorities have always been persecuted. Those with a darker skin complexion were put to slavery for hundreds of years, and for no good reason other than the fact that they look a little different. Those of the Jewish faith were persecuted simply because they didn’t have the same religious beliefs as one single man. Women were restricted of basic human rights for a thousand years because they were perceived as the “weaker sex” to the only other sex out there.

But what we need to learn is that there will always be individuals who are not the same as us. It may be something trivial, like a different favorite color or movie, or maybe something more monumental like religious or political beliefs. In the case of the recent Orlando massacre, maybe it’s sexual orientation or lifestyle.

When you’re young, it’s sometimes difficult to go against the flow. You want to keep the peace and make others happy. Especially for a person like me, who can sometimes be more passive than aggressive, it’s hard to go against the status quo and be different than everyone else, in one way or another.

Yet, being different is what makes us individuals. Differences are what make the world an exciting and wonderful place to be in. While I haven’t traveled far, each place I have traveled is so full of differences and new experiences that make traveling great. The people I surround myself with vary in personalities, interests and backgrounds and are why I have more than one friend.

If everything and everyone in the world were the same, we would be living in a much different place.

Yet, people don’t seem to embrace the importance of differences, although it can be a wonderful thing. Surrounding yourself with people who are a little bit different than you are forces you to learn, grow and redefine your beliefs. Spending time with someone of an opposing viewpoint does not mean that you are compromising your own beliefs, rather, than you are understanding a different side of things. More than anything, it will only strengthen your own beliefs.

The way that I have always looked at it, if someone is different than you but is causing no harm or posing any immediate threats, then who cares? How do people who don’t believe in the same God as me affect my relationship with Him? How do people who love someone differently than I change who I love? And how do people with different interests than I change what I am passionate about?

The world is a wonderful and dynamic place, but right now, it is filled with so much violence and hatred. What we really need to focus on right now is love. We need to learn to love people who are different than us, not only for the sake of decent humanity, but in order to grow as individuals and to live peacefully alongside one another.

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