Being polite and generally accepting can be difficult. We hold our own values and ideals close to the heart and it’s hard sometimes to accept that other people don’t believe in the same things. I, myself, sometimes struggle to accept someone else when they have values that differ widely from my own.
Growing up I lived in a small town. For the most part everyone held similar beliefs. So going to college was sort of an eye-opening experience. I wouldn’t say that I was closed-minded. I’m a fairly accepting person, as far as varying values goes. I think it helped that I have so many different people in my own family. My dad is a welder with tattoos and a motorcycle. My grandparents and mother have been educators for most of their adult lives. My aunt and uncle are very successful lawyers. My cousin races cars. And more. So I was exposed early and often to different lifestyles, from religious, monetary, moral, and home-life backgrounds.
Something I hope to teach my daughter (and hopefully future children) is that no matter what we should accept that not everyone will believe the same things she does, hold the same near at heart, look the same, act the same, listen to the same music. The thing I think is most important to remember is that we don’t need to believe as others do or even like the values held by others. But we should always respect them.
One group I’ve always seen acknowledge others is bikers. Maybe it’s because my dad is a biker (and I would love to have a Harley of my own) but I always look for people on motorcycles on days when the weather is particularly beautiful. Anyway, yesterday was one of those days and I couldn’t help but notice a couple bikers out. Every time they ride past each other you can see them give a low wave of the hand. They
are always polite to other riders. Whether it’s the typical “bikers” with their leather and bandanas, or other riders on their three-wheelers you will always see that low wave. Take a look next time it’s a nice day, try to see some bikers giving the low wave.
Every time I see that wave I feel good. I don’t know why. I just think it’s so great that these guys know nothing about each other. But because of their shared passion for motorcycles they accept whatever differences there may be.
Something I’ve seen a lot of lately in my social media trolling are articles about mom-shaming. Every time I see that all I can think is, why? We are all basically doing the same things. We are doing the best we can with our resources to provide the best life for our children. Why is it that we shame mothers for the choices they are making? Why do we get a say in what they are doing, just because they are doing things differently than we are?
We moms need to stick together. We need to treat each other as motorcyclists do. A low wave, a small smile, a gentle nod, to acknowledge that we are all together in this. We support them as they do their best for their families and themselves. We will be there to assist when needed. Moms have a hard job. There is no reason we shouldn’t give each other quiet support. There’s no reason we shouldn’t shout to the world our support for each other.
It’s not always easy to be accepting and polite. I know I’m far from perfect. But I do take the time every day to be aware of my interactions with others. We are all in this together. We are human beings who have much to deal with. We should be taking the time to build each other up, offering our support where needed. Nothing good comes from being negative.