03 November 2010

Acceptance (the good and the bad)

I find myself going back and forth regarding society's obsession with acceptance.

One the one hand, something should be said about loving people for who they are - flaws included. So what if my friend is a tad rude before noon? Who cares if my brother doesn't remember half the things I tell him? I can smile at my mother's constant stream of unsolicited advice because I love her.

Also, our perceptions need continual improvement - it's easy to judge when we don't understand. Differences are hard to ignore and often difficult to appreciate. We are too easily trapped by what we have grown accustomed to. Too quick to favor what we've seen since childhood. I wonder what beautiful things we would see if we weren't distracted what makes them dissimilar.


Sometimes I hate when popular opinion forces me to accept everyone. Giving every personality, every lifestyle, every outlying theory automatic validity simply because it exists is foolish. People have gotten too good at justifying selfish habits, supporting ludicrous claims, and building a defense for every character flaw they have.

People have learned to thrive on acceptance, because it relieves them from feelings of guilt. We act as though guilt is an enemy to truth, when often it is the light we need to see it. I can eat all the cookies I want if the guy who loves me is willing to accept my being overweight. I suppose this point is what makes love and acceptance to very different things. We can love someone without accepting their faults. We love them by urging them to improve. Isn't that the point of relationships? We learn from one another. We grow. We change.

Acceptance dispels the need for action. It just makes us feel better. It alleviates discomfort.

Love - the kind that withholds judgment, but speaks up when it sees someone faltering - is what society needs, not acceptance.

To borrow a quotation from Junebug
God loves you just the way you are. But He loves you too much to let you stay that way.

No comments:

Post a Comment