October 19, 2012

Different Is Just Different

Agreement is made more precious by disagreement. ~Publilius Syrus

In our longing for harmonious relationships, we can sometimes get very stubborn, very insistent, very hard-headed about how much agreement is possible~or even desirable~between two people. Somehow it becomes our very mission to inform, persuade, and convince the other that our way of thinking is better than theirs. 

But real agreement can't be forced anymore than love can. People have a right to their own opinions. They aren't "wrong" if they disagree with our political or religious beliefs, our tastes in humor or leisure time activities. Different is just different. When we try to convert people against their will, the best we can hope for is a sort of an arm-twisted conformity. They may go along with us on the outside, just to stop the argument, but true conversion is an inside job. 

As we grow in self-esteem, we'll have less need to impose our own views on other people. As we become more aware of and comfortable with the incredible diversity in ourselves, we'll find it easier to allow diversity in others. Perhaps we'll even come to appreciate and enjoy our areas of disagreement as the spice of life that they are. 

Perfect agreement with others is an unrealistic goal. 

H/T: Believing In Myself by Earnie Larsen & Carol Hegarty

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