If you have ever watched the news, then you have been told that we are at war against each other. Countries, religions, political groups, races, men & women, and the rich vs. the poor. The news reports horrible situations that put great pain in my heart & mind. I can’t stop all the bad in the world (or in our country) and I can’t pretend it isn’t happening. I can ask that we all look inward and start trying not to hate.

We ALL need to get over ourselves. We ALL can easily fall into the trap of hating other people for being different. We all have our comfort zones, typically created by our families. Our musical, food, recreational, worship, and life preferences are going to be similar to those we grew up with as children and now who we surround ourselves with as adults.

Within a common community, county, state, or any general area–people begin to separate over differences and condemn each other. Specific families are unfairly labelled, towns point to their brother community to the west and label those townspeople, schools take rivalries too far, and people forget to appreciate their community for its differences. Never condemn people for being different than you. No one is bad for being different. It is psychotic and selfish to think you should control other people and mold them into what you want them to be.

The more different a person or group is from your practices, then the easier it becomes to judge them unfairly. Stop making excuses to hate. It is okay to admit that you don’t understand a situation. You don’t have to become angry & defensive over differences. Learn to listen and care to listen. Try to learn about a situation before making up your mind permanently. If it was you who was attacked, injured, or wronged; you would want someone to care about you. If it happened to your family; you would be angry, hurt, and demand justice. If you had a story to tell; you would want someone to listen.

Question everything about your environment but do not harden your heart with cynicism. For every question there is two sides to the answer. Both sides have “evidence” and “studies” to back up their opinions produced by groups that they know agree with their side. I don’t care about studies, polls, and sarcastic Facebook posts. I care about people. I misunderstand lots of things, situations, and people. I have limited exposure to certain circumstances. I make mistakes, I fall, and I get back up. I hope you do too. I hope you fight through your problems and come out stronger than before. I hope you surround yourself with healthy circumstances & great people who want you to succeed. I pray that our differences never stop me from smiling back at you when you are kind enough to smile at me.

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