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Different opinions and behaviors I willingly accept, uncomfortably live with - and can't condone


To try to prove a point, I made

three lists.


List #1: Opinions and behaviors others have that are different from mine, but it's fine. Not only do I accept them, I embrace them. I don't want to live in a world a clones.


List #2: Opinions and behaviors that are different from mine that make me uncomfortable. But I can live with them.


List #3: Opinions and behaviors that are different from mine that I can't condone.


Before I share my lists, I need to confess my purpose. For years, I've struggled with being misunderstood, even by my own family. I've been called judgemental, intolerant and unaccepting.


"Who are you to judge how others live?"

"You want everyone to think like you."

"You're trying to tell us how to think."


Ugh. No. No, no, no.


But yes. For some things, yes!


Hopefully, after you read my lists, you'll understand what I'm trying to say. If not, I give up.


List #1 Comfortably differ with

  • Your taste in food, fashion, fitness, music, humor, movies, art, literature, decorating, beauty...

  • What sport(s) (if any) you choose (except rodeo); What teams you back

  • How you spend your free time (unless it hurts others)

  • What subjects interest you

  • How you earn your income (unless it hurts others, e.g. loan shark, drug dealer, pimp...)

  • Where you decide to live

  • What religion (if any) you practice

  • Your sexual identity, orientation, preference

List #2 Uncomfortably differ with

  • smoking

  • excessive drinking

  • recreational drug use

  • cynicism

  • apathy

  • resignation

  • laziness

  • far right conservative politics

List #3 Differ with - always

  • animal cruelty

  • lying, cheating

  • environmental destruction

  • inequality

  • drug trafficking

  • human trafficking

  • child abuse

  • bullying

  • racism

  • violence (except in rare circumstances)

My lists are incomplete. But, hopefully, I've made my point - that there are levels of differences. I want to see your lists because I'm curious. Can we identify behavior and ways of thinking and that we won't - can't - condone? Is anyone against labeling the behaviors on List #3 as "wrong"?


If you are, I don't get it. I understand that there different beliefs, values and cultures, but some things aren't cultural. They're universal.


It's not just me. The United Nations published the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Some things - kindness, for example - are universally right. While others - anything on List # 3 - have to be universally wrong, right? Does that make me judgemental? Close minded?


In The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz writes,


"You don't have the

need to be right,

and you don't need to make

anyone else wrong."


I get it. Kinda. I mean, I get it for List One. I kinda get it for List Two. But List Three? Seriously? Can we agree that some behaviors are just wrong?

Shouldn't we take a stand against them?


Tolerance only goes so far.