• Stephanie Vonwiller

An examination of acceptance


We are not all the same and do not all think the same, nor do we all want to be the same. Everyone wants to be himself in his short life, to be accepted, with his views and opinions.

That is what connects all people in the world. And it doesn't matter where they live, how old they are, and what status they have.

It is easy for us to make a claim to be accepted. Accepting others is no problem for us - we stand up for rights and fight against injustice.

But...

...we accept not everyone.

Our views and opinions are formed from millions of different life packages we collect as we approach our death. It is absolutely impossible that everyone collects the same packages - one falls, the other doesn't.

Other points of view are important, we appreciate them, but only as long as they are compatible with our own. If we see a connection in the other person, we accept him. Then we look generously over small mistakes, excuse them or adapt them to our sense of acceptance.

Yes, our acceptance has a certain leeway, which allows us to distinguish between useful and not useful. We are usually not aware of this. Otherwise, we would not be able to live together with other people.

But it also means to weigh up the whole life whether the people in our environment and consciousness still fit or not. Sometimes we even part with people who have accompanied us for a long time on our path of life.

We may think:

"He has changed and not for his benefit." Often with this or similar thoughts, we begin to distance ourselves from those people. They are no longer within our acceptance. They slip into the outer area - the contact becomes looser - and often, they slowly drift beyond the edge of our acceptance.

- If I love animals, all strangers who make any kind of effort for animals will also receive my acceptance. Very few people look at the whole package. Could be possible, some of them mistreats his children.

- As a fan of a music genre/band/singer/musician/actor, my margin of our acceptance may decide that drugs and alcohol excesses are okay in this environment. These are deeds that we commit or have committed ourselves - even if mostly on a smaller scale. But we categorically reject Colombian drug cartels. There we maintain strictly that these criminals cannot be compared with ourselves.

- If I am an advocate of human rights, I may not care about animals.

- If I'm a vegan, I despise all meat-eaters.

- And so on…

People become opponents who do not share my views to the extent that I would like them to. It's not unusual for enmities to develop. Groups grow larger, start wars.

Everywhere and at all times, we are challenged with our acceptance. We are seldom aware of it, and even more seldom we act accordingly:

· My neighbor likes to celebrate. I'm too. - My neighbor likes to celebrate. I'm not.

· My neighbor loves children. I'm too. - My neighbor hates children. I don't hate kids.

· The waiting room is full: "Do they all have to see a doctor today!" - The waiting room is empty: "Will the doctor still be good when nobody sits here?"

· Do we always know why we feel the way we feel? Do we know if and why other people feel (and act) differently?

Depending on what we prefer, different feelings arise. But this has nothing to do with the waiting room itself, for example, or with the people sitting in it. It is our very own feeling. Our experiences try to protect us, draw conclusions, and report to our gut feeling.

We are irritated, anxious, pleased, angry, amused...

Unfortunately, all people feel the same. No matter where they come from, what language they speak or what level of education they have.

Some example:

- White people are fighting with people of color.

- Foreigners with locals

- One president with another

- Voters with politicians

- One religion with the other

- One professional group with the other

- Arms with rich people

- Educational aloofness with the educational elite

- Children with adults

- Old with young

- North with south

- One party with the other

- Domestic with foreign countries

- Left with the right

- State power with the population

- Active with non-active

- Volunteers with full-time jobs

- Employees and bosses

Etc. Etc. Etc.

All examples are also available in reverse.

All people want to live in harmony, but not one of us is free from the feeling of knowing better how we get there, and our actions are always and everywhere determined by this.

Would anything change if we practiced seeing other people as human beings without judging them?

So also those who do not correspond to our world view? Would something change if all people acted like this?

I don't know, but we could try it.