Have you ever encountered a person who has a face that you really want to punch but you don’t because that wouldn’t be the polite thing to do so instead you give them a look indicating that you are watching them? Yeah, we all have witnessed those kinds of people and we prove our own character by not doing anything bad towards them even if we want to. Our actions say a lot about who we are and we all want to show that we are good people who do not fault anyone for their weaknesses. We want to demonstrate to the children we see walking past us that the best thing to do is be kind to each other. When someone calls you a name in school, rather than calling them that name back, you show that you are a stronger person by not fighting them back and calling them names (even if you really want to).
Yesterday evening was interesting where I encountered many people I just wanted to slap (though I didn’t). It was a chilly evening to be walking around but it was a colorful lit up evening with Christmas lights and decorations surrounding everyone who entered the outside mall. Music of many sorts playing in the background, people walking around smiling and having a lovely evening. Then I approached a crowd gathered around a man and I approached to see what was going on, thinking it was another musical festivity to brighten the people’s spirits. Instead it was a man, sitting on a stool and I could hear yelling back and forth between this man and another man across from him in the crowd with a microphone. They were debating about God and each other’s religious point of views. The man on the stool was trying to understand what was being screamed at him but the yeller was so focused on being right he just screamed at the guy about God and specific psalms. Within a couple seconds of hearing this, the man yelling abandoned ship and knocked over a sign. I did not know what was going on, yet for whatever reason I had to stick around to figure out what was happening. Within minutes more and more people were debating about God, using their own religion to back up their points. This went on for several minutes, people yelling their points across to each other, no one wanting to hear perspectives other than their own, and finally I walked away, shaking my head.
As I walked away I was thinking how this is a topic that people get so passionate about and also angry about. Everybody has their own beliefs and everybody has their own perspectives about everything in life. I believe one thing, others may not. Others believe one thing, I may not. Yelling back and forth, unable to hear each other goes nowhere, however. Debating is fine, it’s healthy, people should be able to express themselves, but if all one is saying are things that are insulting to others, I don’t think that is ok; there are ways to say things that show you disagree with certain beliefs but are told in an appropriate manner. When people just throw insults back and forth to people and blame each other for mistakes I find that to be a form of bullying and in the end nobody is happy; the bully is upset that nobody believes in his/her beliefs, the victim is upset because nobody is listening to his/her beliefs. Why insult? Why bully? Why not understand that everybody has their own beliefs and is entitled to have a belief whether or not you agree with that belief?
Think about it, do you feel you have a right to believe in something? Do you feel others have that same right? When you disagree with someone are you mean about it or just stating your own opinions without trying to change another person’s opinions? It’s important to be yourself but at the same time be thoughtful towards others. You don’t have to agree with something that you don’t believe in but throwing insults at each other is pointless. Be yourself but always be kind. That is the secret to living a happy life.