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How to Tolerate Opinions Without Going Crazy

“What?” “Why?” and “How?” are three of my favorite words. My instinct has always been to peer behind the proverbial curtain to get a closer look. I want to KNOW about things. And sometimes knowing about things also means understanding the flip side of them. Take, for instance, my favorite Anais Nin quote: “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” I was toast as soon as I read it. My wheels of curiosity churned as I decided to explore this concept. As a result, I have been able to successfully manage some very interesting interactions. I have heard opinions that could be considered racist, sexist, politically charged or laced with anger. If I feel vulnerable or compromised when someone says something I consider mean or hurtful towards another person or group of people, I can hear in my mind, “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” And I am grateful for the immediate detachment and relief. I enjoy catching myself when I feel offended. Who am I to refute what someone believes, especially since it is their divine right to have an opinion? Why should I demand that someone change their mind (which isn’t going to happen anyway) so that I feel better? After all, I don’t have to agree but I believe…