I often honestly wonder, “Why can’t we all just get along?” I’ve been told it’s my sunshine and rainbows personality or rose colored glasses that aren’t allowing me to see all the reasons. I even took a Facebook poll (one of my favorite ways to collect data) and heard answers like greed, religion, politics and the simplest – because we’re all different. At one point I started to think that maybe they were right. Maybe there is no hope. Maybe people are going to destroy each other with words and deeds based on the belief that what they believe is the only right answer and all others should be struck down. Maybe I need to take one last slide down my rainbow, set aside my shades, and step into this gloomy acceptance that we’re not meant to….
Wait! Stop. I won’t do it. I don’t buy it. I do like looking at the bright side of things, but I’m not unrealistic. And, realistically, I believe the reason we can’t all get along is because we choose not to. A few of my Facebook friends even agreed with me. One posted a bible quote: “What is causing the wars and fights among you? Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?” (James 4:1, NIV). So, this isn’t a new issue…the bible talks about it! So, there probably aren’t any quick solutions either. That doesn’t mean, though, that we all have to be part of the problem. Right?
See, this is how I see it and it’s not rose colored. Yes people are different. I dare say there are no two alike…like snowflakes! (Sorry, got a little sunshiney there. Back on track…) We have different views, different beliefs, different hobbies, and different habits. That, in no way, means we can’t get along. We can disagree and do so respectfully. We can pray to different deities and do so respectfully. We can even act in ways that might be judged as stupid by others and still treat people respectfully.
I do it every day. Whether or not you believe it, people annoy me. Everyone from my children to the drivers around me to people at the grocery store drive me nuts, from time to time. And I’m not always pleasant. We all know I’m not perfect, here. But I try. I try to respond to the seemingly endless “Mama? Mama? Mama? Mama? Mama? Mama!” with a smile. Sometimes I slip out with some crazy, frustrated, “WHAT?!” or tell them she ran away. Life happens. Sometimes I comment to the idiot driving with his lights off that he’s an idiot with his lights off, but I’m just trying to be helpful…kind of. And often I shake my head at the behaviors I see in grocery stores or at the YMCA. But I have never told a self-proclaimed Christian that they are, in fact, not acting at all like a Christian. I’m never scolded a mother who’s kids are obviously running the show for poor parenting. I’ve never slung nasty words at someone who looked different than me.
And you know what? The world keeps spinning. Even though we’re different. Even though some people rack up debt and other save every penny. Even though politics stresses me and others thrive on being involved. The world goes on.
Know what else? My world goes on pretty darn happily. I think that’s due to these handy rose colored glasses, a general respect for others, and having learned that a little politeness can go a long way. And, that, my friends, is how we CAN get along. Disagree, but do so knowing it’s okay. Argue, but do so humbly. Find ways to learn and grow and, in that, find more ways you’re connected than you’re detached from those around you. Don’t assume – we all know what that does to U and ME, right? Be part of the solution. Ask kind questions. Share thoughtful suggestions. Keep your judgments to yourself. And smile – with your mouth, your eyes, and your heart!
I’ve heard it said that it’s hard to fight if you’re kissing. Well, it’s hard to hate if you’re smiling in your heart. So, get along little doggie. Really. Go…get along.