Growing a Thick Skin

In this day and age, every word matters a lot to people. A lot has been said of the “cancel culture” of this generation. You do something decades ago and people reduce you to nothingness. Its happening on college campuses today. They are ready to get rid of holidays, statues, flags, and traditions in our common culture. Its a one strike and you’re out kind of situation.

I try my best not to fall into this trap. I try to give people grace and let them grow and find who they are as people. Maybe some day they’ll come around to reason and acceptance. But sometimes, its so very difficult to give grace. I think something you said or did in your past is quite different from what you are currently saying and doing in real life today.

I say this often, but people are very accepting of mystical ideas from a distant land. They get tattoos of deities, of religious symbols, and words in Sanskrit or simplified Chinese. They do this without knowing their real meaning or what it means to abide by that faith. In fact, the faith they are honoring is often more restrictive and intolerant than the faith of their parents, grandparents, and colleagues. It is strange to me how they are so accepting of something so foreign. It is this counter culture idea. Its like opposite day…every day! You’d think people would grow up. When they were 18 year olds and they wanted to do whatever their parents told them not to do, but they still act like that today. It makes no sense.

So, I truly believe that its different what you’ve done in the past versus what is happening today. I try to grow a thick skin, but its very difficult. Especially when you are constantly bombarded by the same person. Sometimes, its better to live in bliss than to really get to know a person, like on Facebook or other social media. We get to peer into peoples lives and learn something that is not so nice about them. And I’m not talking about years ago; I mean today!

I’ve interacted positively with someone for years. In fact, I’d like to think we were good friends. I knew they had alternative views about the world, so I just unfollowed them on Facebook. Sometimes its better to not know a person’s inner thoughts. Since then, I’ve had a happy friendship with this person. They are always professional, giving, and kind in person. However, its difficult to hide the facts of who they really are. You see them comment on someone else’s page and it all boils to the surface again.

I’m OK with someone not liking something materially about me. If they don’t like my car, root for a different football team, have a different diet from mine, or maybe don’t agree with my politics, then I’m super OK with our differences. But when they openly criticize your beliefs with memes or blatantly abusive words, its hard to look the other way. People say we need to “tolerate” other cultures and beliefs. They accept snippets of ideologies from distant places, but completely trash the church down the street from them. They say “be accepting of people who are different” in one breath, then they totally trash what you believe in the next. It doesn’t make sense.

I don’t tolerate open abuse of other people. So those people don’t get to interact with me anymore. And they don’t get my business. My skin is only SO thick.

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