Do You Respect Other People’s Perspectives?

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“Do You Respect Other People’s Perspectives?” was originally published at Raise Your Vibration Today.

At times the world seems dominated by conflict and argument.  We’re often a collective of individuals squabbling over the right way to do things, the right way to act and the right things to believe. There are lots of perspectives, and they often disagree with each other.

We argue over the things we see in the news.  We complain over the videos and articles we see posted on the internet.  We’re very good at forming our own opinions about what we prefer, but at times we’re not that good at respecting the opinions of others.

At times it feels like we are trying to form some kind of global consensus on how to live life.

However, the beauty of our experience is that we each get to determine what is valid and important in our own lives.  We each get to choose our own path. We each get to determine the best course for ourselves.

It is my opinion that life is much easier when we make the choice to live and let live. After all, our opinions are formed from our individual experiences, and no two of us has the same exact experiences.

We’re all different…

We all live differently.  We were all raised differently.  We have differences in our race, our religion, our nationality, our family upbringing.  We have different educations and different jobs.

I’ve had a unique set of life circumstances and so have you.

I am an American woman who identifies as white. My parents were both American, my mom coming from a German background and my dad from a Spanish one.  I moved around a lot as a kid. My parents were very liberal and Catholic.

I went to a great college.  I married a Jewish man.  I had two kids, one boy and one girl.

This short list of factors have shaped a lot of my life experiences, and therefore they have shaped my perspectives.

How experiences shape perspective

A lot of who I am and what I stand for has roots in experiences I had many years ago.

For example, I don’t like guns, and I don’t much see the point in them. I didn’t grow up with them, and my parents raised me with the belief that they were violent and unnecessary.

I’d never even shot a gun until a few months ago.  My best friend wanted to go to the gun range for her birthday, so I went along, but I was very, very uncomfortable. It wasn’t for me.

So, my preferred reality is one without guns. This preference started in my childhood, and it stuck. I don’t see any point in changing my perspective at this point, because it works for me. I don’t believe I need any means of protection, and I feel safe in the world as I am. 

However, just because I don’t like guns and I don’t prefer to be around them, doesn’t mean that people who promote gun ownership are wrong or bad. They just have a different perspective than I do, and that’s ok.

After all, I might feel differently if I was raised by parents who weren’t so liberal.  I might feel differently if I was brought up shooting guns, or if I was raised in a violent community where I felt like I had to survive.  I might feel differently I lived in the country, or if hunting was a part of my upbringing.

My perspective, after all, is just my perspective.  It isn’t right or wrong, it’s simply the perspective that is relevant to my experiences.

All subjects are fundamentally neutral

The truth of the matter is that all subjects are relative and fundamentally neutral.  A gun could be viewed positively or negatively depending on who is looking at it.  My viewpoint is largely negative on this subject, but for others it is quite positive, and that’s ok. 

We didn’t come to this planet to agree on everything (and if we did, we’re failing miserably at this task!).  We came to have individual experiences, and this means we are going to have differences of opinion.

When we try to force other people to see things from our perspective, we make things much harder than we have to in life.

It’s OK to disagree!

When we insist that others agree with us, we are shouting a very loud, and a very self-destructive message out into the universe:

“THERE IS NO FREEDOM OF CHOICE! THERE’S ONLY ONE RIGHT WAY FOR ME TO BE!”

Now, I don’t know about you, but I like that I get to choose how to live my life. I also like that I have the option to change my mind whenever I want.

 I don’t like the idea that there is some sort of mold we are all supposed to fit into.

I don’t want to feel as if other people get to decide what’s valid in my life.  I don’t want to feel as if my perspective is irrelevant. I don’t want anyone else to feel that way either.

So, I may not agree with your political preferences or how you raise your children. I might not like your hairstyle or the clothes you wear.  However, I’m glad you have the ability to choose what works for you, because it means I get to choose what works for me.

Beyond that, I don’t see the point in forcing my viewpoint on you, because I know that no matter how hard I try I can’t see the world from your eyes. You best know how to define your own reality, because it’s your reality. In all honesty, how you navigate your reality really isn’t any of my business.

Arguing and debating over who is right, from my perspective, is a colossal waste of time.  We’re never going to agree on everything.  We’ll never see things from the exact same perspective (at least not in this lifetime!).

I may strongly dislike racism, sexism and homophobia, but if I force everyone to abandon their beliefs and agree with me, I’m no better than the racists,the sexists and the homophobes.  I’m just another person who insists everyone thinks like me and acts like me. And I don’t want to be that way.

True tolerance is accepting of all perspectives

Tolerance isn’t a one-way street.  You can’t be tolerant of only one set of opinions.  If you are, then you’re not truly tolerant.

True tolerance is respecting everyone’s right to be what they are, even (and especially!) when we don’t agree with their choices. True tolerance includes accepting other people’s choice to be intolerant.

My perspective

So I choose to be tolerant, even when it’s not the popular choice.  I choose to let people make their own choices, because I know I don’t have the power to create in anyone else’s experiences. I choose to be tolerant because it’s only my job to create my reality. It’s not my job to create yours.

There will be people who view me as one who puts my head in the sand,  and I’m OK with that, because that is their perspective.  There will be people who see me as ignorant, and that’s OK, because that is their perspective.

From my perspective, I know you have your reasons for your beliefs and your actions.  From my perspective, I don’t want to force you to look at life the same way I do. From my perspective, I choose to look at you and know that you are doing the best you can from your place in the world.

You are in charge of your own thoughts and your own actions. Far be it from me to decide how you should live your life.

Related Article: Hating Others Is Hating Yourself

From my perspective, I prefer to live in a reality where I am allowed to make my own choices and a reality where I am accepted for who and what I am.  Therefore from my perspective, it is important that I allow you to do the same, and find a reason to love you regardless of your opinions and choices.

I’ve come to find it’s a lot easier to love other people when you cut them some slack for living their own lives and coming to their own conclusions. From my perspective, when I love you as you are, I make a choice to love myself as I am. In my book, you don’t have to “fall in line” to be worthy of my love and acceptance, so neither do I.

True tolerance, in the end, allows you to be free in your very own mind. Free to do whatever you want.  Free from letting other people’s choices affect you negatively. Free from needing everyone to agree with the truth of your reality.

That, at least, is my perspective.

XO, Andrea

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This article (“Do You Respect Other People’s Perspectives?“) was originally created and published by Raise Your Vibration Today and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Andrea Schulman and RaiseYourVibrationToday.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this Copyright/Creative Commons statement (with all links in tact).

Image Source: This image was reproduced with permission from the artist, Cameron Gray.

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  1. No dear, I don’t get upset, i think it makes the world a much better place when we can respect one another.

  2. Shall we repect to the terrorist prespective ? Hehehehehe

  3. If you can’t change your mind, you are not using it.

  4. I wouldn’t necessarily say I respect other people’s opinions but I do respect the fact that we are all allowed to have and voice our own opinions because ones opinions show you who people are in this world. I don’t get mad that some people are ignorant because what would that make me? If you don’t agree with me it’s not my problem. If I feel in my heart that something is real and true, no one can hurt me with their opinions or views. Unless someone’s opinion directly affects me or the people I love, I have no issue with anyone stating their views. With that being said, if you are disrespectful towards me with your opinion, I will defend myself. There is a way to be opinionated and not disrespectful.

  5. Yes especially if I can learn from them.

  6. Some opinions are dangerous and allow abusive behaviours to flourish. Opinions are not facts. People can think things, but when they try and spread opinions as facts then that is irresponsible. So I do not think that opinions should necessarily be respected. Facts and what benefits a majority based on morals about human well being should be.

  7. I do respect others perspectives

  8. It depends on when and where.As long as someones so_ called perspective doesn’t turn into a self righteous perspective for starters.

  9. We are all looking in the same mirror from different angles ,if we are willing to close our mouth & really listen instead of just waiting to reply we can have dialogue instead trying to prove you are right & the other person wrong .We may even learn something that we never thought of or understood before .

    • pattym.girl953@gmail.com' Patricia says:

      Very true. Too much shouting and not enough listening. I agree that everyone has a right to their opinion. Until it comes to violence and harm to others. That’s where I draw the line.

  10. Frankly, respecting anyone’s point of view is evolution. When spats derive, and escalate, from a difference of opinion, then we’re no better than the Roman Empire who cast into their lions’ arena anyone who went against the government dogma.

  11. I respect everyone’s RIGHT to their opinion, not necessarily their opinion. HOWEVER, no one has the right to bully, preach or lambast you with their opinions because yours are different. Very simply.

  12. I don’t get angry if people don’t agree with me, but I am working on not being self righteousness when it comes to political or social issues when I feel very strongly that my view or opinion is the compassionate and loving one. I remind myself that everyone develops views and opinions based on their own path and it is not for me to judge who’s right or wrong. And that’s a challenge! 🙂

  13. Entertaining the opposite perspective is often called “arguing”. Most people are in conversation to “win” these days it seems.

  14. Depends on the perspective, and whether it impacts my life or not.

  15. The loudest and proudest usually get their word in regardless of truth.

  16. Yes but it is like politics and religion …. To much of another’s perspective sometimes overwhelms

  17. I respect opinions from some hate some opinions and ignorance disgusts me

  18. I definitely refrain from the terms “moran” and “idiot.” Who am I to judge? Let’s have an open discussion without the insults. Then maybe good ground could be made, otherwise it’s just a big black and white mess.

  19. Susan Reed Susan Reed says:

    If they are well thought out,

  20. I don’t respect other people’s opinions and perspectives when they’re stupid and illogical so…most of the time…

  21. when the shouting is over its choice that is the way of the world some dont get a choice its taken away buy others

  22. i respect myself and dont try to sway anybody to my thoughts or ways

  23. Alex Leong Alex Leong says:

    If we are mature and reasonable in our thinking ,we should respect others ppl opinion.but many times, I do came across quite a lot of ppl do not and they only think that their opinion is right .so when you dont agreed with them ,they became very offensive .while I think this kind of ppl is very ignorant.

  24. Unfortunately, NOT all opinions ARE equal.

  25. Beautiful. This should be required reading if only to teach that everyone has a different perspective of life. We all have a right to our own opinion, we don’t have to respect anyone else’s but we should at least respect their right to choose their own.

  26. Kachi Ojum Kachi Ojum says:

    It’s good to respect people’s opinions.

  27. Yes,too much. And that has been my biggest downfall over the years.

  28. Respect must be shared otherwise noboday will respect you or your opinion.it show how noble you are.

  29. Use to. Now that I have grown -up, I know that each and everyone of us has a right to an opinion of their own. If we do not like what is said, sometimes it can work in our favour to help us become a better person. ?

  30. SB Stolley SB Stolley says:

    Yes. As ridiculous as some seem me
    UNTIL they try to impose their beliefs on me. Showing no respect for what I hold as my truths….thats the deal breaker

  31. CarterqCorn@hotmail.com' Robin Waltzer says:

    Are your friends the kind of people you want to be around? Do they ever criticize you or Try to keep you down? Consider moving on.

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