So you donate to charity every month. You’re a vegan and you always tweet about acceptance and other deep topics like that. Well guess what? There are people who would not consider you a good person for doing that.
It seems that many of us have come to see the world as black and white. We have come to believe that there are specific things that are right and specific things that are wrong. There is the good and there is the bad and there’s nothing in-between. And so when we choose to do what we think is right and noble, we expect others to agree with us and to consider us good human beings for doing that. But we forget that as plentiful as there are pairs of eyes in the world, so are the number of different perspectives with which people see the world. What you consider good behavior may not be what I consider noble and right.
So even those things you do that you think will make everybody consider you holy human being may seem despicable to other people. To you, being vegan may be a way to boycott animal cruelty, but others may see it as under-appreciation of food, and they may even consider it your way of abusing the privilege you have to choose the food you eat. So it may not be wisest to expect people to see right from wrong as you see it.
In the same way, we should not expect people to understand our behavior; to see it as we do, only as means to a good end. If your child is throwing a tantrum inside a movie theater, you shouldn’t expect the other watchers to understand and to forgive the disturbance of their movie experience. They may have a completely different perspective from you. To you your child may just be acting cute, a perfectly normal behavior, but to them he or she is an utter nuisance and you as the parent or guardian should have known better that to bring your child into the theater. Similarly, if you’re one lap behind everybody in a 5K race, you shouldn’t expect people to understand that you’re just a beginner and that you simply being there warrants their praise. Some of them may see you as just a slacker, one who didn’t work as hard as the others to succeed, one who should be ashamed of even attempting to step onto the tarmac.
It doesn’t mean people are less intelligent or less good of human beings just because they don’t see things your way. Most people in the world are trying to do what they think is right. Most people are trying their best to be good human beings. They just have a different set of eyes and with those, they see the world in a different hue from your own. They see a different kind of gray in our not-so-black-and-white world. Are you willing to love and respect them even with their difference?
And as always, cheers, to life!
Photo By: Gregory Maxwell available on Wikipedia