madeline3.14159

United States

~i write to feel
the sun on my cheeks,
rain on my head,
snow on my eyelashes.
i write to feel the hope in my heart~

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est. 8.19.20

Message to Readers

Still important... Always important... Especially now.

We Are More Than Our Beliefs

November 5, 2020

FREE WRITING

16
    Imagine a world where anyone could share their beliefs without fear of getting attacked.  Imagine a time where disagreement was met only with polite debate, no personal insults or jabs. That time will only ever come if people learn to respect each other. Right now, we as a society struggle to discuss our beliefs in a respectful manner. We judge. We stereotype. We hate. Whether it is religious beliefs, or political views, we need to learn respect. 

   As stated by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of respect is "to act in a way that shows you are aware of someones rights, wishes, etc." In general, society adds a phrase on to this definition.  "To act in a way that shows you are aware of someone's rights, wishes, etc. insofar that you share those rights, wishes, etc."  The addition of that simply phrase takes away one of the most important aspects of respect: the respect for those who disagree with you. It takes away the part of respect that we need to learn. It's easy to be kind to someone you agree with. Naturally, we respect our own ideas and when we meet someone who shares those same ideas, we respect them as well. The struggle comes when we don't share the same rights, the same wishes, the same beliefs as the people we meet. How can we act in a way that acknowledges their beliefs without putting them down and immediately labeling them as wrong? The first thing we need to consider is humility. 
   
    Just because we believe something doesn't make it automatically correct. Facts and opinions are two different things. We can believe we know the truth without truly knowing the truth. That is why we need to learn humility.  Humility is a way to view our own importance that acknowledges that we may not know the truth. We can look at our beliefs and understand that there may be other answers, we are not all-knowing. Using a mindset of humility allows us to truly listen to what others have to say. Without humility we hear the other person, but we do not listen to their arguments. We are likely already constructing our next counter in our heads, trying to frame them in the most negative light.  With humility, we can place the other person first. We can hear and acknowledge their beliefs before explaining how our beliefs are contrary. Humility does not mean we have to agree, humility means we are eager to hear the opinion of others and we don't force our opinion on them. 
    
    Looking at life through the lens of humility helps us respect others. It allows us to put others above our beliefs because we understand that we are not the only one with valid feelings and opinions. 

   Another thing we need to remember is that humans are not their beliefs. Just because you disagree with someone, does not automatically make them  a bad person. Just because someone believes the same thing as a bad person doesn't automatically make them a bad person.  Everybody does something wrong, there are bad people in every group. Stereotypes never help. Understanding that humans are more than what they believe helps us respect them for who they are even if we cannot respect what they believe in. 

    Similarly, when we attack a person instead of their argument, we are disrespecting both ourselves and them. We are simultaneously proving that we cannot provide a logical response and showing that we don't care about the other person. Nobody benefits from this discussion tactic except for possibly the attacker's pride. If we cannot respond logically and civilly, we should not respond at all. An personal attack on the people we disagree with shows that we thought through the conflict only emotionally rather than logically. 

    Lastly, we need to understand when debate is useless.  There are several occasions when you should stop the debate. The first is when we discuss facts.  A fact is either right or wrong. If someone is shown a fact with evidence that supports it and still denies the truth, there is nothing more you can do. The next is if both parties have a contrary mindset. If neither person is willing to learn and the same points are just being repeated over and over again, the debate will only lead to anger and frustration.  

    So show respect for the people around you, understand their rights and their wishes. Together we can make this a world where we don't have to worry about getting judged for our beliefs. Because we are all human. We all make mistakes. And no matter what, we are more than simply our beliefs.  
I've been intending to write about the topic of respect for a while but I wasn't sure how best to do it.  This isn't aimed towards anyone, but I would love to hear thoughts on it. Anything I should add?  

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25 Comments
  • crystalline•galaxies

    re: oh, ok. that's good.


    25 days ago
  • ANSON REYNOLDS

    awesome piece!!! I think you hit on soooo many good points, and I absolutely LOVE using dictionary quotes - I was so happy to see yours :)


    25 days ago
  • crystalline•galaxies

    re: oh, i do hope it was a good journey into philosophical musings? sorry if it was too much!


    25 days ago
  • crystalline•galaxies

    oh, i really do like this. i definitely agree with your statements talking about how we should respect each other and especially when you mentioned when to stop an argument. that is such a good skill to learn, and i think that it's something that takes a lot of work to really hone. i think that the quote, "we are more than our beliefs" is really fascinating, though, because it could possibly be argued that our beliefs define who we are as people. it's something that we choose, and there are factors that can play into what our beliefs are, but when it comes down to it, beliefs are what we decide to keep with us no matter what. they're not what physically makes us human, but they could be what mentally makes us human, if that makes sense. sorry, i know that wasn't the point of this piece, but it's just something i thought of. again, there is nothing wrong with this piece and i agree with every single word of it, but i was just kind of thinking out loud there.


    25 days ago
  • Turkeycracker K (a.ka. Firecracker)

    YES YES YES.


    about 1 month ago
  • RemovedUser1

    Submitted a review!


    about 1 month ago
  • RemovedUser1

    Replying: I just sent you an email! Hopefully it gets to you. Sometimes I have trouble sending long comments too, XD. So, I’m going to review this now :).


    about 1 month ago
  • RemovedUser1

    Hey, this is the speech, right? Also, your comment got taken down on the other page. Is the em@il just your username with "@gmail.com" at the end? (Just being safe, XD.) I don't remember everything you wrote, but, yeah, not everyone needs to go to college to be happy! Famers, mothers, self employers, the staff at small businesses, chefs, and TONS of others don't need to go to college. And hat class sounds awful, XD! I used to be obsessed with college, but I'm rethinking what I want to do with my life. I've recently become fascinated with the idea of becoming a homemaker and mother and taking in orphaned children in Uganda. I don't think you need to go to college for that XD. But, I'm still wrestling with it.
    I kinda envy people who are really good at Math, XD. A few school days ago, I spent the whole day just on Math, XD. Also, past, like, multiplication, I don't think you're going to be using that math in everyday life, XD. But it is reading to learn it. (Many days I greet Daddy by saying, "Hi Daddy! I got 2 out of 5 on my Math test!!")


    about 1 month ago
  • RemovedUser1

    I was rereading my comment and I made it sound so bad, XD. I actually want to talk now, because I almost never get to talk about politics with people other than my parents. I was just trying to say that I’m a Conservative, and that the media portrays Conservatives as horrible, evil people. And they also say that everything we think is bad, but it’s not really. We just love America and her people, as well as Biblical values. But if you don’t want to talk about that stuff that’s fine too, :). I just didn’t want to scare you off, XD. See ya later!


    about 2 months ago
  • Charisse Marison

    Replying (sorry for cluttering this comment section!)- Thank you so much for recommending those websites! I will definitely check it out! And, if it doesn't work, I'll just add it to my Christmas wish list :p


    about 2 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Ack, this is so important. I know that I've been guilty of having less humility than I should sometimes. "Just because someone believes the same thing as a bad person doesn't automatically make them a bad person. Everybody does something wrong, there are bad people in every group." PREACH! The "bad people" may have similar beliefs, but it's usually their other beliefs that make them "bad people". Anyway, thanks for this.


    about 2 months ago
  • Anne Blackwood

    Re: Thank you so much!! And I've always loved that verse btw. :)


    about 2 months ago
  • Charisse Marison

    This is SO true! People can be so disrespectful when it comes to politics. This piece is so important and I wish more people did the same as you!
    Also, my favorite is probably Dex. I've only read up to book 2 (because my local library is still closed and I'm too broke to buy the next books lol) but I think he's really sweet and an amazing friend to Sophie! I also love Keefe though, we need more people like him :)


    about 2 months ago
  • RemovedUser1

    I wanted to clarify, XD. When I said this reminds me of Sarah Huckabee, I didn’t mean she was used these tactics. I meant she was ridiculed daily on every aspect. From her weight to her smile to her ability to make a pie. She was President Trump’s Press Secretary. But she took it like a champ and she actually wrote a book with her version of the story. I don’t know that much about her, but I listened to a podcast featuring her, and I loved it.


    about 2 months ago
  • RemovedUser1

    Also, your profile pic is so pretty!


    about 2 months ago
  • RemovedUser1

    This is amazing! Wow! I love it! I am definitely going to keep this in mind throughout these times. I’ve seen so often where people attack a person rather than arguing their point. It really reminds me of Sarah Huckabee. No tactic was off limits for her. Anyway, this is a great piece, both poetic and informative, and I love it! Amazing!
    Replying: I will definitely check out Olivia’s page! I am always amazed by how good people on here are at poetry. I... am not. XD. But I’m working on it! And, I do enjoy having young siblings. I wish we could stay right here forever. Before life smacks them in the face. Well, actually, they’re pretty well informed about politics and stuff, but there’s a lot of stuff that goes into being older that they don’t know yet. I hope they can learn from seeing what I did and how it affected me. But, I feel like we’ll always retain some of our childhood innocence, because we’re just that type of family. You could say “goofy,” XD. Also, just realized you have a big family! Yay! I meet almost no one with a big family like mine. I couldn’t imagine living without 4 other siblings, XD. Well, maybe I could once they start driving me mad like you say, XD.
    I’d be willing to. Just, I’m a Conservative, and I know you align with what I believe too, but I really like you and don’t want you to get offended then stop liking me, XD. It’s not like I hate anyone or anything, it’s just, I am very... different. I feel like I’m making it sound so much worse than it it, XD. But, you liked my White Privilege piece, and that’s pretty different, so I bet we’d be fine. So, I guess, shoot!


    about 2 months ago
  • Rachaelgrace

    Great piece!!


    about 2 months ago
  • LindytheRavenclaw

    I think this is perfect just the way it is! And I think this topic needs to be talked about more, as it isn't enough.


    about 2 months ago
  • therisingwriter

    this is an awesome piece - educative! thanks for the great works:)


    2 months ago
  • BlueOwl

    This is a great piece! I'm not using wtw anymore, but I had to comment. I can definately see growth in your writing since you started writing here. Congrats on the piece, very well said. All the best and lots of writing!


    2 months ago
  • ~Zoe N~

    Re: Yah, that's my life every day, its almost funny because of how unfunny it is....


    2 months ago
  • ~Zoe N~

    Love this piece!
    Re: he, yeah I wouldn't doubt it XD


    2 months ago
  • Doodleninja

    What you bring up here is already, like, ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I can’t think of anything to add because you hit a bunch of key points, especially relating to when beliefs/worldviews clash, which happens nearly everyday in our lives. Wonderful piece!!


    2 months ago
  • poetri

    Very well put and definitely necessary. Stan a queen who knows how to write something as effective as this. You've earned yourself a follow, dear. All the best :)


    2 months ago
  • Westley

    I agree with you fully. People need to respect others views/beliefs, etc. It's one of the largest problems in our society. I've write about this a few times. I've never though about the word humility, but it's completely right. That ties in so much of it. You did a great job, while being totally respectful.


    2 months ago