The first time I read the words by Temple Grandin: “I am different, not less” they resonated with me on many levels. Her words have been turned into countless memes, usually in shortened version: “Different not Less.” Those words have become one of my mantras.
The majority of my friends live in my computer, so I tend to spend a good part of my free-time online. I am in several groups on FaceBook spanning weight loss to homeschool. On any given day, I can usually site several posts, in any one of the groups, that cause me immense sadness. Why do people feel the need to be so cruel to others who see the world differently than them?
I tell my girls almost every day:
“Different is NOT Less, but it is not more either, it is simply different. God loves diversity and that is why He created such unique souls, to add more vibrant color to the world.”
I want them to know this with every fiber in their being. I pray for them to grow into women who accept everyone as they are. I pray for them to respect people, because they know every person and every thing has value in this world. I want them to be part of the change, I so desperately pray for in this world.
In Al-Anon one of our many tools are slogans, my favorite is THINK:
The “T” stands for Thoughtful! Truthful!
The “H” stands for Helpful! Honest!
The “I” stands for Intelligent! Inspiring!
The “N” stands for Necessary!
The “K” stands for Kind!
I wish people would THINK, before they speak, or type online. We all have different pasts, which make our perceptions in the present extremely varied. Instead of attacking those who have different view points, perhaps we could embrace the diversity, and maybe even learn something. The bullying has to stop!!
Prior to finding Al-Anon, I could only feel good about myself when I “proved” that my way was better than others. I am deeply saddened when I think of all the people I belittled, just to make myself appear more confident and knowledgeable. All those years I wasted attacking others, because we didn’t agree on things, were missed opportunities to learn, and be the change I wanted to see in the world.
Today I know better, so I try to do better. I am not perfect and sometimes still say (or do) things that I am not proud of. Thankfully, when I am working my program, I can see where I am wrong, and make amends for my words or actions. Of the many things I pray for my children to learn, responsibility and accountability are at the top of the list. I want them to be able to admit when they behaved poorly, apologize and learn from it. We will never be perfect, but we can practice Respect and Kindness in all that we do. We can be the change we want to see in the world, just be treating others in the same manner we would like to be treated.
Have a blessed day everyone, and don’t forget to smile. ♥
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