Whether they are friendships or love relationships, relationships can be confusing. The more I speak to women the more it has confirmed what I already knew; that men and women are simply very different from one another. We process things differently, see things in completely different ways.
Differences in how we are raised serve to enhance aspects of the psyche and life’s approach and as much as we may think it doesn’t matter, it makes a difference in day to day life because our upbringing affects our expectations of others. There are many successful relationships between people of different ethnicity, different upbringing and different backgrounds, and this is attributed, in my opinion, to the only factor for success that can in any way balance out all the gender and upbringing differences: Choice.
When we choose to acknowledge that there is a difference, and we choose therefore to be respectful of the other’s point of view, and we choose to work through things in the knowledge that a difference of opinion is not a personal attack but merely a difference of opinion, then we are well on our way to understanding one another.
This choice can be extrapolated to relationships in society, between groups, between faiths, between even political standpoints. I’ve had friends over the years whose political opinion or religious beliefs differ from mine. But it has never prevented the friendship from being able to grow as long as both of us have remained conscious of that difference, and respectful of it. There is no way anyone can expect to have their beliefs or opinions respected and yet chose to ignore those of others. This brings to light the importance of choice yet again; in this instance one needs to make a choice of where to draw the line in one’s person space, or in one’s tolerance. Why? because as much as you respect people’s difference in opinion, if you don’t first understand where YOU stand and how much YOU will tolerate before enough is enough, then you will never be able to read the signs that tell you that it’s time to call it quits and just move on.
There are all sorts of relationships nowadays; take for instance social networks such as Facebook or twitter. Too many people collect contacts as though they were little bits of coloured glass in their window on the world, but they never, ever, close the window. In other words, people happily add and add and add but never bother to read what has been written because freedom of speech seems to have become more important than respect for another human being. When that human being is you, and you are attacked for your beliefs (wether it be out of ignorance or wilful spite) then such an attack even if made in general should be taken personally because you are deserving of as much respect as the next person. Similarly, when posting something, ensure that your right to speak doesn’t infringe on another’s right to exist, to believe, to LIVE.
There is always a way out of such online relationships (if we call them that). There is the higher road that comes with letting someone know this is not okay, and then unfriending. It is far better to walk in the company of a few good people, than to be hurled around in a mob of mindless, disrespectful crowds.
What does it all come down to? It boils down to personal integrity. You either have it, or you don’t. And if you have it, you should respect others, and you are duty bound to your own self respect when it is trodden upon.
In this world where terrorism and fear and corruption and manipulation of the masses is so easy by the greater media, we are all duty bound to a higher level of respect, or we fall prey to the mob mentality that serves only to destroy. Don’t pain everyone with the same brush, regardless of their upbringing. Simply choose your company, think for yourself, and exercise the respect of something called “Compassion” before roasting everyone at the same stake!