I have been observing the current political, cultural, and social trend lately. I usually try to skip politics as I do not like mainstream politics and like politicians even less. Due to my overwhelming interest and agreement with Ron Paul (shameless plug, I know) I have been keeping a tab on what people are saying and doing. This has left me even more disliking politics and political people. Here's what I have learned:
Posting your views on social networks, even if it is just saying you like a political candidate, will infuriate other political people into posting hate on your wall. If I said I liked ice cream, those that don't wouldn't care at all. So it clearly means something emotionally to many people and your very statement of a like may actually stir up pain in another.
If you believe in something or don't believe in something the media has deemed politically incorrect, you become the horrible names they have made up for you. Even if you're no where near those terrible connotations.
Many who claim to be open minded are only open minded if you agree with them. If you don't, you become those horrible names the media has made up for you.
Some people will not listen to you anyways and it is futile to argue certain things with them. Many people simply do not know why they believe what they believe, but know that the challenge of that belief brings many painful and angry feelings.
I have learned so much more, but the point is that people continue to forget that other people are still people...different people, with different circumstances. You cannot simply slap labels and names on a human being just because you disagree or the media defines their beliefs as being worthy of a horrible name or connotation. People feel things and some things hurt so bad that the person believes off of emotion alone. We need to be sensitive to that. Remember that to understand someone, we have to listen to them. If you do not listen or desire to understand a person, ignorance will reign. Even if others anger you, try to understand your own feelings and beliefs. Maybe you end up seeing their point...maybe not. But at least you know where you stand. Then try to listen and understand the other person, remembering that a belief does not make someone and idiot or a terrible person.
Grace is key with all people. Tolerance is being humble enough to examine your own perspective and seek to understand theirs as well, then choosing to love (Not condone their actions necessarily) them anyway. We don't all have to agree to coexist in a loving environment, but we do all have to love each other and tolerate each other.