Monday, June 13, 2011

Maybe I'm too cliche

My friend C.R. recently said something: that when God wants you to learn something, then God constantly bombards you with the same message over and over again. (completely paraphrased).

I don't want to say recently, but almost my whole life, I've had this love of differences. And as time progresses, I am bombarded with situations and people who are just soooo different and you can do nothing but embrace it. Humans were never completely the same. Even if our biological make up is 99% the same, we still have that 1% of difference that breaks the cycle. I've had this appreciation of non-conformity. I am enthralled by learning from people who have different outlooks, experiences, backgrounds and so forth. I don't care what the difference is, I just love to learn from it. However, we live in a society of herd mentality, conformity, and you know, being part of the in-crowd. So, in essence, I was often the odd man out. I learned, over time, to quietly appreciate from afar but never vocalize it. In college, I realized that I could speak up again... However, people started to assume that my curiosity in the 'otherness' of things was a way to affirm 'myself-ness' but really it's not. People get on the defensive and start arguing, where I would be totally content just listening. But, I am genuinely curious and interested and willing to try and experience what you experience to the best of my ability. I fear for those who go on the defensive, because that means that their experiences in the past have pushed them to that point.

Anyway, I love difference. I love it with a passion. I love it so much that when I was a kid, us girls would be like "I wanna marry so and so with such and such qualities" and I would always think "I want someone completely different than me" (whatever you may take that to mean). The thing that I cannot tolerate, or more accurately that thing that I dislike, is when people attempt to force you to take an opinion or to submit to their perspective as though it is better or worse than your own. Often people tell me, "Reem you assert your opinions all the time" and I would like to say:

No, no I do not. I express my opinions all the time. I do not assert them. You can take my opinion, reject my opinion, listen and dissect it, I don't mind. But I will never force it upon anyone. However, sometimes I "over explain my opinions" because I have a fear of being misunderstood. So, if I am saying something for a LOOONNNGGG time, trust me, it is because I feel like you may be misunderstanding me and not me forcing my opinion on you. And if you got what I was trying to say, just sincerely tell me - "Oh Reem, I got it, don't worry" and I'll probably stop, without any negative feelings or anything.

Went off on a tangent again... but anyway, the one thing I cannot handle is someone forcing their opinion upon me. Or indicating that my opinion was "wrong". Opinions were not made to be right or wrong.... that's what makes them opinions rather than facts of life. And even then, these opinions may be a fact of life for a person, but not necessarily for all. I mean, non of us can deny gravity, right? But not all people believe that twizzlers are AWESOME.

Maybe I have "post-modernist" tendencies., although I cannot stand being put into a neatly packaged box and commodified. I think we need to look at our perspectives and really explore how willing we are to accept people. I know that I need to learn to accept people who force their opinions as just peoples will a different take on life (not as pluralistic per se) but it will take time in general. I, myself, am a very opinionated person, in fact WE ALL ARE, even when we think we don't have an opinion about something. However, there are some of us who have no shame in expressing their opinions (or asking people about theirs) and their are some who think it's rude...

So, what's the point of this???

Please, please, please please please!!! Take humans for what they are, humans with opinions, rather than neatly packed ideologies. Experience what makes them human and what shapes their opinions. If people started to see humans as humans and not objects, trust me, the world would just be so much more peaceful and you'll be a million times more likely to experience all that is beautiful within it.

Maybe I'm idealistic. Maybe my opinion doesn't resonate with someone who is reading this. Well if that is the case, feel free to express why my opinion doesn't quite ring with you in the comment's section, in a loving and sisterly/brotherly way. I <3 constructive criticism.. Anyway, maybe I'm too cliche but --- appreciate (and experience!) differences.


Jamali said...

I think people who have never had discussions at home/school and are just used to talking AT people are the ones who have difficulty hearing other people's opinions.
Which is why starting discussions at an early age is important. How else will people know how to handle themselves when they hear something different?

Youthful Wisdom said...

I am a neatly organized package. Juust kidding. We can think that the humans have neatly packaged ideologies because human minds are not neatly packaged! Our experiences are always changing (hopefully) and so our thoughts and opinions are always changing. That's the beautify of growth; its contingent upon change. I have a hard time dealing with people who talk at people or assert their opinions instead of engaging in discussion with the mutual goal of increasing understanding. But you're right. We just have to accept each other has human.