I just turned 42 and received my first pair of glasses. My new lenses are not for reading or distance (yep still 20/20) just for driving at night. I can definitely see the difference when I wear them, especially in the glare from the headlights when it’s raining. It amazes me how different my view is when I look through the lens. I no longer squint which therefore helps keep the headaches away.
This past 2016 election helped me see things more clearly as well. I promise this is not about my political views because I know that you really don’t care. I also promise that I won’t try to change your opinion (mostly because it is a complete waste of my time). I saw this posted on Facebook last week and this about sums up what I see:
For all of you who aren’t sure, it is possible to be gay and Christian.
It’s also possible to believe in God and science.
It is possible to be pro-choice and anti-abortion.
It is equally possible to be a feminist and love and respect men.
It’s possible to have privilege and be discriminated against, to be poor and have a rich life, to not have a job and still have money.
It is possible to believe in sensible gun control legislation and still believe in one’s right to defend one’s self, family, and property.
It’s possible to be anti-war and pro-military.
It is possible to love thy neighbor and despise his actions.
It is possible to advocate Black Lives Matter and still be pro police.
It is possible to not have an education and be brilliant.
It is possible to be Muslim and also suffer at the hands of terrorists.
It is possible to be a non-American fighting for the American dream.
It is possible to be different and the same.
We are all walking contradictions of what “normal” looks like.
Let humanity and love win.
I was having lunch with a good friend last week and she shared with me the message of unity that her Rabbi spoke of recently. In light of Jewish hate crimes doubling in 2017, she shared how this Rabbi’s sermon was about having grace and patience with everyone.
For the past few months, I have had to remind myself that we must love and respect everyone’s choices and opinions even if they are very different than our own. I have given up trying to understand them or change them (finally). I know that we tend to gravitate to those who agree with us, which is completely natural, but I wonder if we are all making a mistake.
How is the world ever going to change or improve if we all divide into our little happy comfort groups and shelter ourselves from any outsiders? If we do that, aren’t we all just grown-up bullies? Don’t we try to teach our children not to exclude anyone? I was recently reading the book, Born a Crime by Trevor Noah and he wrote, “If you laugh with somebody, then you know you share something.” We all do share something. Should we maybe, just maybe, have learned something from this election?
Lecturing someone that is anti-gay about how great your gay friend is, will not change their mind. Maybe, just maybe, if that anti-gay friend is around your gay friend a little more, over time they will realize that they too are the same struggling, imperfect, sinful human being just like you and I.
Maybe we should all go outside of our comfort zone and embrace those that we disagree with or look different than. Maybe we need to get out of our little happy comfy group or let someone new in.