People Are Who They Are and They Don’t Fit Into Perfect Little Boxes (People. Matter. 03.31.17)
There are two things that are especially true when it comes to people. First, every person is different in a thousand ways. Second, no one is perfect nor can they be if they tried.
Our differences and our imperfections are what make us who we are. You wouldn’t be you without these components and I wouldn’t be me. Too often, however, we forget in the overall discourse of life that we are as separate as our fingers are from our toes. We try to make everyone fit into a perfect little box, just the way we want them to be. Or we judge others because they don’t live up to our ideal expectations.
This not only happens in our daily lives and interactions with others, but it is played out on a much bigger stage on television. Much of the dialogue today is one person saying something harsh about another person, then several dozen people “weigh in” on cable television and several thousand more on social media. Everyone holds to their opinions. Some receive support while others receive harsh criticism.
There is nothing wrong with constructive critique but there is something dangerously wrong when we cannot agree to disagree and still get along. Every human being has flaws and makes mistakes. It is part of our human nature. No one is perfect and we should not expect people to be so. When we start imposing our wills and our ideals upon other people, we fail to see them for who they are and understand them at the level they are at.
Of course, we should speak up and stand up when the situation calls for it. When we see someone being attacked verbally or otherwise, it is the right thing, the human thing, to step in and help. But many times we are quick to judge people without understanding the fully what is going on because we enter into situations with preconceived ideas about how we expect people to be and what we expect people to do that almost never is the case.
Deep down, we wish some people were different. And there are very ethical and kind ways to influence others to act better. The problem comes in when we step off into self-righteousness and piety, fault-finding or any kind of struggle. We are better able to accept others and their imperfections when we realize that we’re not everything we like to think we are. And accepting has nothing to do with approving or agreeing or acting as a doormat. It simply means let people be.
Every human being has flaws and failures and makes mistakes in life. Many times, we judge others because they are not what we expect them to be or we don’t like who they are because they don’t fit into the perfect little box we have created for them. The truth is, every person you encounter is a unique individual. That is the way they were created and that is the way you are. Until you accept this, without imposing your idea of who they should be, the world will be void of unity and equality.
Sincere compassion rises up within us when we embrace others for who they are and accept them, flaws and all. People are going to be who they are. And they don’t have to fit into perfect boxes because people are not perfect and they don’t belong in boxes.
We can’t fight against discrimination and inequality if we’re not also willing to fight for compassion and unity. Everyone is facing some difficulty or challenge on their life’s journey and to judge them for not having it all together is destructive and heartbreaking.