A is for Acceptance

That’s the first word I could think of that started with A, and it’s something that’s been on my mind for a while. The concept of accepting others for who they are, even if what they believe in is different from what you believe in.

For the most part, I don’t like society. I don’t like its values, I don’t like its “morals,” I don’t like its trends, and I don’t like its general emptiness. Many people have told me over and over again that “morality” is subjective and that one person’s morals are not necessarily better than another person’s morals, so it is therefore wrong of me to say that society is in a state of “moral decay,” when it may be my morals and not yours that are decaying.

But do I stand by and “accept” society as it is, or do I do something about it? And that begs the question… what can I do? See, the word “acceptance” doesn’t imply doing something about anything. To me, “acceptance” implies standing by and passively submitting to whatever it is that you are accepting. In a sense, it’s acquiescence, and I don’t like to acquiesce about some things.

I realize that I sometimes come across as very old-fashioned, unyielding, and sometimes even bigoted. I don’t like to be seen in that way, but I do feel as though I should stand up for what I believe in. It’s not easy for me to just lie back and “accept” that there are things wrong with society. It’s not easy for me to “accept” someone’s lifestyle when I see firsthand that it’s causing them problems and confusion.

I like people, even though a lot of times, I do not understand them or their motivations. I accept them for who they are, but I may not necessarily endorse their belief systems. But that doesn’t mean I dislike that particular person if I don’t agree with what their beliefs are. In general, what people want in life is to be happy, and if what makes them happy is different from what makes me happy, then that’s fine. But if I accept you, then you must also accept me. Acceptance is not a one-way street.

2 thoughts on “A is for Acceptance

  1. All of this is just so true. I also believe in accepting yourself, something I try to encourage in today’s society.

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  2. Well, I agree that there’s a lot about the current culture that’s unhealthy (though we might disagree about some of the particulars), but I think one thing we can do as writers is bring this to the forefront and even show other ways that things could be and other ways that people could relate to each other.

    Oh, and I really agree with your last paragraph. As Robert A. Heinlein once said, “Do not do unto others as you would like them to do unto you. Your tastes may differ.” (Actually, I just looked it up and George Bernard Shaw said it first. Heinlein must have got it from him. Well, if you’re going to steal, steal from the best 🙂 )

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