“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.”
Friendships are a wholehearted associations between two people that are built over time through feelings like care, respect, admiration, concern, and love. When someone is a true friend they allow the other to be themselves and do not let differences in their opinion come between that friendship. Thomas Jefferson’s quote reminds us of this and it is crucial that we don’t allow our own judgements to stand in our way of maintaining that friendships.
What is amazing like most things in life, it takes such a long time to develop a strong bond with someone but sometimes all that it takes is only one instance, one misunderstanding or one argument to destroy a friendship. This can happen in the blink of an eye. Why is that? I think this happens because there was not a solid foundation created in the beginning of that friendship in taking the time and putting in the effort to understand and empathize the perspectives of the other person. One of the key components to having any friendship survive is acceptance.
Now let me be clear that acceptance does not mean compliance and it doesn’t mean agree with what someone else believes. Remember we are not robots. Acceptance simply means to acknowledge and validate someone else’ opinion or belief. This is something that is needed for any friendship to survive or thrive and it is okay not to agree on everything. Those differences are what makes us and those friendships unique.
We need to move past those differences because if we don’t we will become very shallow and will wind up drowning in a sea of loneliness which will be are own doing. I don’t always agree with how my friends may view things but I’m able to separate and recognize what those differences are and in doing so never let those affect my opinion of them as to who they are because their viewpoints are what makes them them. Differences in philosophy or how one lives their lives should never cause a friendship to end. They can only survive if we remain open minded. If we can do that, we can become more socially aware.
What does this quote mean to you and how can you apply today’s message towards becoming more socially aware?