Most people that know me know that I can be pretty easy going. I am a seeker of truth and I spend a lot of time contemplating the mysteries of life… wondering if there are answers to life’s difficulties.
The other day I was having a conversation with someone I love dearly about religious matters and in the middle of it, I realized they would never relax their guard enough to entertain another perspective. They were completely convinced that they were right, and perhaps they were, I never claim to know all things. But I’m always willing to hear another perspective. I entertained their argument, offered my divergent opinion and it was sending the person into rage.
After I got off the phone, it came to me that this is how most people are now days; so convinced that there is only one truth… one answer… and of course, they’ve got it and everyone else is wrong. People, collectively, have gotten to a place where they are the experts, the know-it-alls, on every subject and now that access to social media and other platforms have gotten under their skin, they’re willing to debate, demean, demoralize and spew hatred toward others. Some are even willing to escalate to violence over their beliefs.
Stupid. As I told this person, “perhaps you’re right, I don’t take a hard stance on things that I believe are unknowable.” And when it comes to the subject we were discussing–religion, how can we ever truly know? How can we know 100% what is right or wrong, what sins are forgiven and which ones aren’t (Please don’t troll me, I ain’t got time). Until we are face to face with God, how will we ever know? We can’t. We only have a belief and the unfortunate thing is that most people BELIEVE their BELIEF is TRUTH.
I can honestly say that since I gave up the need to be right years ago, my life has been filled with so much peace. I’d rather not spend my time debating and trying to convince others of the rightness and wrongness of things. I came to understand that I have an opinion and it will always differ from others based on their personality, upbringing, socio-economic status and so many other things, and for that reason my own opinions and beliefs are ever-evolving. And while I believe that healthy, respectful conversations about difficult issues are the key to moving humanity forward, I know that most people just aren’t there. Republicans, democrats, gun control, left, right, immigration, religion, LGBTQ, name your pick. Right now, the game we’re playing is us against them. And until we recognize that the only thing that matters is “We,” meaning the whole of humanity, this nonsense will continue.
I encourage you to hold fast to your beliefs, but refuse to take a hard stance on anything. Always be open to another view, always be respectful if it differs and always choose love over war. Be willing to engage in healthy, respectful discourse. Be someone who seeks resolution, not to be right or make others wrong. This, I believe, is what will move humanity forward.
To your journey,