I have met some amazing people in my life and have been truly blessed by their love, and support. They have come from all different backgrounds, with many different stories, and from all walks of life. Some people have been great and some have been not so great, but I have learned this one valuable lesson from each of them. Just because I don't Understand everything about them, doesn't make who they are, wrong.
I have the opportunity in my life right now to be a volunteer at a local hospital. It's an experience that I will treasure where ever this life may take me. I have met incredible people with amazing strength, courage, and love. They have taught me patience, understanding, and grace. I will forever be grateful to each one who I come across.
On my first day at this hospital I had the opportunity to meet a woman who has changed my life forever. In Utah, (where I am from) there is a pretty big population of people that belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. For many people who live here who have not been members of the church, they have felt judged, criticized, and at many times, ostracized. It broke my heart to hear this woman's story the 1st day that I was at this job. Because she was not a member of the church she had been treated very poorly. She had really never met anyone who loved her and ACCEPTED her just as she was. She would make friends and they would always be trying to bring her into the church, when that is not what she needed. At a time in her life when she needed love and support, she got judgment and pain. It made me so sad to hear what she had gone through, but I understood.
As we talked that 1st night I had the opportunity to tell her a little bit about myself, and although I am a member of the Mormon church I tend to have very different views than a lot of my fellow "Utahan's" :) I tend to be a bit more on the Liberal side. I have an open mind, and I know that "the worth of every soul is great in the sight of God." The greatest commandment of all is, "Love thy neighbor as thyself." The only thing we need to worry about in our life is how we treat another human being. Because of the pain I went through while very overweight, the constant bullying, and mistreatment I received, it opened my eyes to what people in this life truly need. Everyone just wants to love and be loved in return, so that's exactly what I am here to do.
That night talking to this woman, I knew that not only had I made a friend for life, but I had met one of the most amazing women I have ever known. Her soul is beautiful and her heart is priceless. I was truly blown away by the amount of love and compassion this woman has towards the human race. She is indeed a divine daughter of God. Even though our religious beliefs were not the same, we both knew the purpose of life. To love one another, and to be an example of Christ. I'm so grateful for the lesson she taught me that day. She confirmed everything that I already knew to be true, that while here for the short time that we are, we are to do as Christ would have done. We are to love each and every person no matter who they are. We don't have to like their decisions or choices or beliefs, but we do need to love them.
There are many things that I don't understand about so many people, but that is my opportunity to not only get to know them, but to get to know more about myself. Every person I meet shows me a bit more about the person I am. They shape and mold me for the better whether they have a good or bad influence in my life. As I continue in this life, there will be many things that change for me, but that's okay. We aren't supposed to ever stay the same. We are to continually grow and learn and do better. We need to take every experience we have to use it towards becoming a better "You". We each have a divine purpose in this life, and it is up to us to know what that is, and then to do it.
Every person you meet may not have the same beliefs as you, and that's okay. You don't need to agree with everyone, but you do need to learn from everyone. I challenge each of you to truly listen to another person, even if you don't agree with them. Listen to every person, and instead of waiting for your turn to tell them what you believe, try to understand something new about them and learn something new about you from them. Don't try to convince everyone of the same beliefs you have. If we all saw the same things, what a boring life we would lead. Love everyone. Learn from everyone. And become the "You" that you have always been meant to be.