Some people may assume that by seeing me at the Jewish Center I must be Jewish. Another person may find me enjoying myself at a Pagan celebration and assume that is where my beliefs lie. Or perhaps hear the church I plan to send my daughter to for preschool and label me by those beliefs. All of these would be inaccurate but I don't mind at all because each one has a beautiful piece of love to share and as long as the message is positive and respectful I am listening.
People may see a friend I hang around and think I must be vegan or a hippie. The next time they see me I may be eating steak in boots or even be standing up before a company in dress pants. I love that about this world, this area, and myself. There are so many ways to explore the world and the differences in opinions, why contain myself in my own personal beliefs so narrowly that I cannot enjoy everyone else's'? It does not mean I agree with all the people I surround myself but I enjoy hearing another perspective. I respect their thoughts and view points and I appreciate the same in return.
Sometimes religion is made out as if it is a big divider but I have found that is rarely true. I think more people are more openly divided by parenting style. As a parent there tends to be a lot of judgement from what you feed your kid to discipline and everything in between. And while I do struggle sometimes when a parent is choosing a way I would not choose I remind myself that, not only is it their child, but the diversity in parenting styles is one way we get a diversity of adults. Barring any abuse and with the hopes children are taught to respect others the rest is of little consequence.
I'm grateful for the diversity I come across every day. I'm grateful for my friends that share a variety of beliefs and help me look at things in ways I wouldn't have thought. I'm grateful for having friends that are parents. I'm grateful for the advice and suggestions that I receive even if I choose not to use them. I'm grateful for the ability to listen and respect other opinions even if I don't agree. And I'm grateful for the ability of each of us to make up our own minds and choose our own paths while still living together peacefully.
What diversity do you find around you? What helps you feel respected when sharing what you believe?
May today remind us that differences are a blessing. May we find love and respect for every person we meet and feel the same in return. Have a beautiful day!