“One is never so rich in friends that one can afford to toss them in the trash like disposable plates.” — me. Posted today on Facebook in response to another posting about someone who unfriends people just for disagreeing with her.
I hope this lady reads this, though the likelihood that she will is practically nil. As far as I know, she doesn’t know about this blog and she’s pretty much unfriended everyone on FB for disagreeing with her.
I never could understand why I was supposed to accept her viewpoints and opinions and express unconditional respect, but was never given the same in return. She felt she had the right to control what I had to say and what I could express and feel. I had to agree with her. I had to respect her opinions. But if I had a nuanced opinion, not necessarily a disagreement, all hell would break loose.
If you cannot handle someone disagreeing or not being in full accord with you, then you have issues. A strong need for control, a deep insecurity, a total disconnect with reality. To love someone, you accept that they will be at variance with you. This is what it means by the UU 1st Principle: The Inherent Worth and Dignity of Every Person. A person has worth and dignity even when they are totally different from you. Even if you don’t like them.
And our 2nd Principle: Acceptance of One Another and Encouragement to Spiritual Growth in Our Congregations.
Keyword here — acceptance of one another. We all differ, we all have disagreements and sometimes our disagreements seem insurmountable. I’ve seen this in my own congregation. One cannot get 100+ people together and have them agree. It’s impossible. Sometimes (perhaps frequently?) there will be deep divisions in opinions. Does this mean we cannot be friends or work together? When I see this dynamic going on in my congregation, I often think that the best attitude is “Let go and let the Universe handle this.”
Let go…sometimes you have to let go….in order to help facilitate the change you would like to see in the world. You have to let the other person follow their own path, their own conscience. Let it take its own road, see what happens. Perhaps their path was the right one, and you are the one that needs to change directions.
If you want people to accept you, your opinions, your path, your attitudes — do the same for them. You do not have to agree with them to accept them as human beings doing the best they can in a world that is often confusing and crazy. You deserve the same kind of acceptance even if they don’t agree with you.