Several years ago a good friend of mine gave me an inspirational plaque called The ABCs of Life. On the plaque are brief suggestions or approaches to life that begin with a verb which starts with that particular letter of the alphabet. I hung the plaque in my bathroom and whenever I take a good soak in the tub, I read the plaque and ponder the lessons and inspiration there. Beginning with A, Accept Differences.
Can you imagine if we all accepted each other's differences? Different skin color, different religion, cultures, political leanings. Different backgrounds, experiences, reactions. Can you imagine if we approached differences as opportunities to learn?
I think that the first step in accepting differences is to adjust our mindsets, to practice respect. My mother used to say that the world would be an awfully boring place if we were all the same. She taught me the importance of respecting differences, or learning from the differences.
Respecting other people’s differences, accepting other people's differences, what would that do to your life? I'm going to practice the letter A on the ABCs of Life plaque, actively practice it. I'm going to do so all week, keeping it up front in my consciousness. Next week I'm going to move on to the letter B on the plaque and then each week for the first 26 weeks of this year, I'll move through the ABCs of Life. Starting with A, Accept Differences. Doing so won't lessen the world's conflicts, but it might help me with conflicts in my own life. Certainly, it will be eye-opening to learn where I am not accepting and where there's room in my life to practice respect and acceptance more often.