How We Choose to Differ

How we respond determines the kind of world we live in

I am blessed — I mean truly, remarkably honored and grateful — because the people in my life are simply beautiful human beings. The people I live with, spend time with, interact and work with are all incredibly kind, gracious, thoughtful, inspired and inspiring.

Therefore, it always leaves me reeling whenever some “other world” seeps into my life. When I experience a humanity that is cruel and mean; thoughtless and primal. Today was one of those days.

It is often advisable to avoid the comments section of any online publication, but today was a reminder of just how … inhumane … people can choose to be. Especially when they are asked to expand their world, open their minds, just a little. You see, a colleague shared her thoughts in an article today. And that “other world” went rabid.

My colleague’s ideas are new — they are unconventional — but they are delivered out of a deep desire to inspire and help people. Her advice is always positive and empowering. She means no harm to anyone, and she speaks from 100% experience and 100% authenticity.

But the ‘commenters’ vilified her. In fact, the commenters vilified her so much, that another publication got hold of the story and ran a cruel, ridiculing story online. And then Twitter went wild. And the television networks starting contacting her, wanting a piece of the carcass.

And this all happened because people heard a point of view they hadn’t heard before, and don’t wish to adopt in their own lives.

Let’s get real here — we all hear things that don’t make sense to us. We are all subject to ideas and ideologies that we don’t agree with. We all interact with people that have a different view of the world (life, politics, parenting, religion …) from our own. And we all have a choice in how we respond in those moments.

Nobody shares their viewpoint expecting you to adopt it. Articles (like this one or the one my colleague wrote) are not written as a directive, but as an invitation — to another way of thinking; another perspective. And if you don’t want to accept the invitation — if your point of view differs — then you can calmly state your position or just move on.

Or, you can become righteous, angry, indignant, and/or insulting.

The way we respond to ideas, opinions or advice that differs from our own is a choice. We are solely and completely responsible for how we each choose to react when confronted with another point of view.

And how we choose to react determines the kind of world we will live in — one where differences and individuality are encouraged, or one where we dare not be different at all.

Kim Forrester is an award-winning author, educator and intuitive consultant with over 15 years’ experience as a professional intuitive and spiritual teacher. She combines cutting edge science with traditional spirituality to offer the latest understandings of psi, consciousness and holistic well being.