I often wonder why we get so ‘precious’ about our beliefs and why we feel a need to attack or correct others who have differing opinions to us? (p.s it was far more tempting to write this article using the terms ‘people’ and ‘them’ rather than including ‘we’ and ‘us’ into the equation – it would have been far easier to say something like, “I often wonder why ‘people’ get so ‘precious’ about ‘their’ beliefs and why ‘they’ feel a need to attack or correct others who have differing opinions to ‘them’ – THEN I REMEMBERED THAT I AM A ‘PEOPLE’ TOO).
I also wonder why we feel the need to back-up or support those with the same opinions as ours and form little (or big) groups around those with the same beliefs/opinions that we have?
Is it because we feel threatened or insecure if others have differing viewpoints to ours?
Is it because we don’t like to be ‘wrong’, so if someone has a differing opinion or belief to ours, we would rather see theirs as ‘wrong’ than ours as maybe being ‘wrong’?
Do we honestly believe that if we find enough people to agree with us or our point of view that it automatically makes us right and the ‘other’ even more wrong? The way certain people behave, you would think that that is the case 😉 In the greater scheme of things, does it really matter if you’re ‘wrong’?
Also, why do so many of us trust the opinion of others (Spiritual leaders, Gurus, ‘Authorities’, Governments, and Religious Groups etc.) over our own experience or gut instincts?
And why do so many of us get ugly and nasty toward people or groups with a different perspective to ours? I only have to watch a reality series on TV to see just how much EGO I have left in me. I can be so critical and judgemental of ‘others’.
Does it really make us feel better pulling someone else down? Does our opinion or belief matter so much that we’re willing to fight, bicker, argue or belittle someone else who has a different take on things or different perspective to ours? When I look at some of the ‘comments’ on Facebook pages or on on-line news etc., then I would say that this is the case. I can’t believe the verbal abuse that people put out there.
Who are we trying to protect? Are we that angry, confused or frustrated that what we are holding onto so tightly may not be the ‘whole’ truth or the ‘only’ truth? So what? Why do we feel the need to defend a person / group of people by attacking another person / group with an alternative viewpoint?
Guess what, you may even be ‘right’, you may have a very valid point to make, but if you go about it by being defensive, dismissive, or derogatory towards the ‘other’, then you are wasting your time.
I have left certain ‘groups’ from time to time because of differences in beliefs or opinions. The last time I left a group was because the leader of that group had a very different opinion on ‘Gay rights’ to mine. For me, that was a deal breaker. I am not homophobic and unfortunately, he is. I only found out after I had been following his teachings for a while. Once I discovered his beliefs on this matter, I felt like I had no choice but to leave. I didn’t try and tear him down, or correct him, or argue with him, or even point him out to others who were following him. I just chose to leave. Simple as that.
That being said; some, if not most of my greatest growing opportunities have been through being open to ideas, opinions and beliefs that are different to mine. Some of my most treasured friendships are with people who think and believe differently to me.
Sometimes we are in such a rut or comfort zone, that we find it easier to stay in a relationship, group or belief system because it’s easier or less scary than leaving, and so we hide behind trite sayings (“Eat the meat and spit out the bones” or “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater” or “God is teaching me a lesson”) to justify sticking around. People are afraid of being shunned or being ostracized. They are afraid of the unknown and often stay in spiritually abusive organizations or emotionally abusive relationships for fear of being ‘wrong’ or going to hell! They are already in hell and don’t even know it.
I believe the balance lies in being able to listen to your own voice / Inner Guide / Intuition without the need to pull others down or convince them that you are right.
Follow your heart, do what you need to do, do what is right for you. Take responsibility for your decisions and your actions.
Do what ye will, but harm none (The Wiccan rede)
Treat others the way that you want to be treated
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you
Go and live your best life and let others do the same – even if their ‘best life’ is different to yours.
It is time to stop judging, condemning, criticizing, pulling others down or trying to control them. It is time to let go of your ego and accept that others opinions may be different to yours, but that doesn’t make them right or wrong necessarily – just different.
It is time to start respecting each others differences and being able to see the beauty and richness in them.
It is time to live a life that is Soul-Centered rather than ego-driven and realise that we are all on a journey – even if it sometimes looks and feels like others are going in a different direction altogether. So what, does it really matter? We all have lessons to learn along the way.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could celebrate our differences and motivate and encourage each other along our journey of life and self-discovery?
Love and Light