Making Life a Bliss Complete

Honest and heartfelt stories and lessons about home, family, love, faith, and personal growth.

Good Humans

I have always tried to be a kind, genuine person. I see good in others and love making new friends. Because of that, I have had many friends over the years who are very different from me in their beliefs, lifestyles, values, and goals. Now, I grew up in a very religious culture where we were often taught to be in the world but not of the world, and to surround ourselves with people who believe as we do. In theory, that can be good advice, but I think it’s incomplete because:

  1. Not everyone who claims to believe what you believe lives according to those beliefs.  
  2. A person’s set of beliefs doesn’t necessarily make them kind or easy to get along with.
  3. There are so many things you can learn from people who are different from you.
  4. You can be a good example and friend to others, and they can be a good example and friend to you, even with your differences.
  5. Some people are yearning for friendship, and if you feel led to them, you should go to them without any caveat that they must believe as you do.
  6. It’s hard to build strength of character, wisdom, critical thinking, sound judgment, and compassion if you live in a vacuum.

So, though I do believe in being the best version of myself that I can be, I know that I can do that (and have done so) while conversing with and befriending people who are very different from me. That doesn’t mean that I always understand everything about another person’s experiences, but I have found that as I truly listen and care, I grow in empathy, love, support, and acceptance for that person. Some of the best friends I have ever had don’t go to my church (although many do), and some aren’t even religious at all. I feel so blessed to have been touched by the personalities, hearts, and lives of so many kinds of people.

Sometimes we as humans are afraid of people who aren’t like us, especially if a part of who they are is seen as controversial. Because of that, some people are treated like issues to be solved rather than living, breathing humans who are worthy of love, respect, dignity, and equality.

“Us versus them” is a harmful perspective that is perpetuated far too often in the media, whether we are discussing political parties, war, religious views, equal rights, sexual orientation, etc. So many groups and perspectives are presented as black or white, good or evil, right or wrong, while completely ignoring the good humans who make up these groups or have these perspectives.

I like to read comments on articles to see how people react to information. The level-headed, thoughtful comments that address nuance, compassion, diversity, etc., are very few and far between, while the one-sided, fiery comments take flight. It’s definitely easier to let fear, anger, and disgust guide us. That way we don’t feel any need to change our hearts or minds. However, I have found that I feel a lot more peace about the views I hold when they have come from a lot of study, listening, and pondering.

Most things don’t make me angry, fearful, or disgusted anymore. There are absolutely evil people who do evil deeds in this world, and those things do bother me, but there are far more good people in this world than bad people. It pains me when people I love are judged, stereotyped, vilified, and condemned by those who choose to see evil rather than look for the good.  

I saw this image on Instagram yesterday. It’s called The Dignity Index. I love it and it fits perfectly with these thoughts that have been on my mind and heart. The goal is to grow beyond numbers 1-4 and develop the qualities and mindsets to move up the scale, all the way up to number 8. It’s a process, but it can (and should) be done, not only for the well-being of those who are different than us, but for our own well-being. As we open our minds and hearts, we will become more well-rounded, caring, humble, compassionate people, full of wisdom and truth.

I truly believe that if we want to be good humans, we must treat those around us like good humans. I encourage each of us to think of and pray about how we change our hearts to see the divine nature and individual worth in people that we don’t yet. Peace and love will only increase as we do.

Thank you for sharing!

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