Tuesday, November 28, 2017

It's Been Awhile...No This Post is Not About The Song

I'm sorry to those who have been longtime readers about the lack of posts. Every time I sit down to write a new blog post, I have been hard-pressed to write lately. There are so many things going on all around us every day. We see friends and family members falling ill, and of course all the tragedies that have been happening lately.

Everywhere you look people are trying to figure out what everything means, including me. With all that is going on, I have had a difficult time trying to find my voice. It's hard to watch the news and think that there is anything positive going on in the world. I find myself wondering is it worth it? Is it worth trying to share the joy that I have in the world with complete strangers and acquaintances?

I really wish that everything could just change at the snap of a finger but that's not reality, the reality is that there are bad people in this world who willing do destructive things. We have witnessed this though and it has been this way for hundreds and hundreds and thousands of years.

I think that many of the injustices in the world revolve around this idea of acceptance and tolerance and what those words really mean instead of how they are used today.

For a quick primer, here are the definitions from Merriam Webster:

Acceptance:

1. the quality or state of being accepted or acceptable 

2. the act of accepting something or someone

3. an agreeing either expressly or by conduct to the act or offer of another so that a contract is concluded and the parties become legally bound

4. the act of accepting a time draft or bill of exchange for payment when due according to the specified terms

Tolerance:

1. capacity to endure pain or hardship

2. sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own; the act of allowing something

3. the allowable deviation from a standard

4. the capacity of the body to endure or become less responsive to a substance (such as a drug) or a physiological insult especially with repeated use or exposure

Tolerance allows us to have our own beliefs and allows others to have their own beliefs. It's ok for someone to believe what they believe in and I don’t have to agree with it or even believe it myself. Problems arise when we mix tolerance and acceptance up and we take away the right to have our own beliefs. 

While these seem to be very general, a good way to think about the difference between the two is this; You can tolerate something without accepting it, but you cannot accept something without tolerating it.

The current world we live in, we are not allowed to be tolerant of others. Now hear me, this is not an excuse to let evil run amok. Every religion, every creed, every person can recognize truly evil things, those things are not ok.

We are bombarded in this world with what other people believe we should believe in, the way our religions should act and we are told to separate ourselves from our, believes if they are not the popular things in the world. It’s almost like we live in a black and white society, you're either for us or against us, you either believe in what we are doing or you are the problem in our way and I need to destroy you are your beliefs.

In this way, we have lost the ability to have our own opinions and beliefs. We talk about freedom all the time, both sides of the argument claim their way is the right way. When it comes to the other side's opinions they have the belief that you are wrong and you need to get in line. I don’t know if that sounds like freedom to you but it doesn’t to me. When we are forced to do something against our beliefs and we don’t, we are called names, ostracized from the group and made to be outsiders.

This line of thinking is quite frankly difficult to accept.  Especially when we think about everything that is going on in the world with all these mass shootings, bombings, and terrorist attacks. Most of these events can be traced back to the beliefs of the people who are caring out these evil things.

This line of thinking is quite frankly difficult to accept.  Especially when we think about everything that is going on in the world with all these mass shootings, bombings, and terrorist attacks. Most of these events can be traced back to the beliefs of the people who are caring out these evil things. Many of these people are wanting others to accept their beliefs and affirm them that they are right. When they are denied that acknowledgment they then become violent and lash out.

I'm thinking about what I've been wanting to say what I've been wanting to write because this blog is not just about food and fun and beer (although I do talk about that a lot) but it is also about faith.

I believe having faith is a good thing and it allows us to act accordingly, it guides us, it creates our moral structure, our moral values but we can't do is force it upon others. We can show them how we live, how our lives have changed over time for the better, how our faith helps us grow as people.

I know what I believe, I know who God is and what God has done in my life. I know that by other’s seeing the way that I live, and how the choices I make in my life hopefully reflect how God is working in my life.

The truth of this world is that not everyone will agree ever and I think the sooner that we learn this the better off we will be and the more tolerant we will become.

Are there things that are blatantly wrong, yes! Are there things that are evil, absolutely but grouping everybody together and labeling them just because of a few people is foolish, hurtful, and deceptive.

We should be ashamed of ourselves when we make those broad generalizations because what we're doing is we're hurting ourselves just as much as we're hurting others. Sometimes it's hard to do the right thing, sometimes it's difficult to follow your own beliefs because the rest of the world tells you that you are wrong. 


Thank you for taking the time to read my ramblings and frustrations. I promise the posts will be much more fun than this!

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