Recently, I was gifted some wisdom: learn to accept others for who they are, no matter whether you agree with them, or would act the same way in their position.
Even though I’d probably heard this advice or idea in some form hundreds of times, it finally made sense to me. The powerful person is able to accept others, and does not try to change them.
The reality of the world is that we share this space we live in. There is no getting around the fact that other people are a big part of our life. Without other people in our lives, we’d need to grow our own food, make our own clothes and build our own houses. The world we live in the today gives us huge luxuries of convenience simply because we share it with others.
However, while we share the world physically, we do not always share it philosophically.
We have all seen this a lot lately in the political arena, but I also see it very often in business and family life. The way other people operate is always going to feel different than the way you operate. The mistake is to somehow see that difference as wrong.
When you see another person as wrong, and you want them to be more like you, all it does is cause you stress. It actually enables the other person (or group of people) to have more control over you, and it reduces your ability to function well in the world.
The challenge of accepting others, I believe, comes down to habit.
If we habitually practice the acceptance of our differences, no matter how wide, it becomes easier to do it over and over again.
If we habitually search for ways to be righteous, or tell ourselves there is a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way, it only causes friction, unhappiness and dissatisfaction.
One more point here: even though it is wise to accept the way others are, it doesn’t mean you must spend all your time around them. You can consciously choose an environment that better matches your worldview and and live within it.
Life is always changing, and so are you. So is everyone else. Who you are today, you won’t be tomorrow, and neither will the people you struggle with.
The best thing you can do is accept them as they are today, and know that it is within your power to create distance if you need to.
Acceptance brings you calm. Acceptance brings you power.
Most of all, acceptance is a habit.
Practice it and watch what happens.