02 June 2013

just for today, i’ll acknowledge the rights of others to be as they are, without my approval or interference. . . .

There are so many times that we feel we need to interfere in other people’s lives because we’re sure that they’re making some big mistakes or doing things completely wrong.  But they are human beings, and they have the right to do things as they see fit, and as they feel comfortable doing them.  It’s not up to me to tell people who or how they should be—it’s up to me to accept them as they are and to love them unconditionally.  Trying to change someone else is a sign of conditional love, love that says “I’ll love you when.”  And that’s not love at all, because love is by definition unconditional.

You are you and I am I.  We both have the right, through the simple fact of our birth as unique individuals on this planet, to believe what we wish to believe, to think what we want to think, to strive to do the things that we think are right.  If I disagree with you I have the right to tell you why, but I don’t have the right to demand that you change your way of thinking or being to conform to what I see as right.  One of the most beautiful aspects of the human race is our incredible diversity, and if I don’t respect your rights to be as you are, then I’m contributing to the destruction of the diversity that helps to make this world such an amazing place.

from Just for Today:  The Expanded Edition

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