Many people had yesterday off to celebrate Martin Luther King Day. As I was relaxing at home, I thought about the differences in people. We are all very different, and most of us would agree that being different is a good thing, but sometimes those differences can be very annoying, to say the least. When people don’t share your core values, and each one feels that they are right or justified, arguments can ensue. Both parties can feel very strongly about their beliefs. So what is the solution?

Well, there probably isn’t a solution that will be accepted by both parties, and I think we have to accept that. Sometimes we must agree to disagree, but along with tolerence, I believe we must have equal respect for the feelings of others. We all say things not knowing that they are hurtful to others, but I think that when we know they are hurtful, we should make our best effort not to say or do those things around that person. Does this violate free speech? I don’t think so. I think it only adds compassion to free speech. Choosing not to say or do something in the presence of certain people so they are not offended. Is that really so very hard? It can’t be made a law, except our own personal law, but it can be so easily practiced. I don’t mean to say that we all need to tip toe around, just be somewhat aware. And on the other side of that coin, just because someone says something that offends you, doesn’t mean it was aimed at you. A cute little saying in the movie “Miss Congeniality II” has always stuck in my head. It goes like this, “Everything is not about you!” How very true that is. In this “me, me, me” world, I think we have forgotten that little fact.

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