I’ve been challenged to think lately, which has been good timing, since I’ve also had the opportunity to do a lot of driving on my own, which has given me ample time to do said necessary thinking. One thing I was challenged on a little while back was how I view people who do things I don’t necessary agree with (the thought process was a little more complicated than that, but let’s simplify for space considerations). So I thought, and what it came up with wasn’t really anything new, but was simply the ability to apply something I already did in my thinking to new situations.
The original topic was smoking — how do I feel about people that smoke, especially those who are addicted now and can’t do much about that? It was a tough question to begin with, especially since I have a button on my backpack stating, “Kiss me! I don’t smoke.” Firstly, I personally find the act of smoking kind of disgusting, and it’s pretty much a turn off for me “romantically.” But, I also realize it’s more than that.
A smoker is more than their smoking. We’re all more than our actions, though our actions, in some ways, do speak about who we are, but motivation is also an important part to the equation (i. e. stealing could speak badly about a person, but what if someone is forced to steal based on poverty or other forces beyond their control?). In a similar fashion, I am more than a pastor’s kid (if you didn’t know already) as someone else is more than an evangelical Christian as someone else is more than an engineering student. We’re more than our economic class, our skin color, our addictions, our hosing status. Our attributes definitely speak in some way to who we are, but we’re all much too multi-faceted to be pigeonholed into these one-dimensional categories.
I think the quote from The Muppets Take Manhattan is something like, “Peoples is peoples,” even if it’s never really made sense to me until now. You can know a lot about someone, and obviously the more you know about them, the more you know them, but one can only know so much — and really, we don’t even know ourselves completely, do we?
Remember that we all have flaws, and even some things one might see as a flaw another might find as a positive attribute. “One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure,” to get even more cliche. So try not to judge (someone times you can’t help it, but you can do your best), and work toward tolerance around every corner. Don’t we each have the right to be who we want to be anyway?