Loving and Accepting

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I firmly believe that, as people, we need to be loving. We need to do that. The world is just not a good place when people stop loving others.

I don't think I'd get many complaints about that.

But I'm not so sure that it's a good idea to be accepting. Loving? Yes. Accepting? No.

Huh? Isn't that the same thing?

Nope. Not at all.

Loving means, roughly, to want what is best for others, to care about them, to treat them well, and to encourage them to live the best possible life and provide what you can to make that happen. Accepting, on the hand, means that you merely tolerate the follies of others, you allow them to do whatever they like, and you generally disregard them except to smile wanly at them from time to time. If you try to accept everyone you eventually come to the point where you have to agree with the self-refuting ideal of "not tolerating intolerance." We simply cannot maintain a rational existence and work toward acceptance of everyone.

The opposite is true of love. If we truly love others, we can function very well as a society, despite being completely "intolerant" of other views. If we truly loved the religious nuts who berate us for our sin, we would be able to smile at them, disagree with them, and treat them well anyway.

The same is true of homosexuals, pro-choicers, fallen pastors/priests, rapists, and hypocrites like me. Love them, but please, please realize the importance of disagreeing with them. But as you disagree and refuse to accept their stance, please remember to love them.

I've been slowly collecting posts on this topic, and I think this distinction will correct and inform every single one of these posts (all of them fascinating reads... just please keep this post in mind):

Remember: Until we learn to love people they have a legitimate complaint against us when we come down of them for their beliefs (be it for completely pagan or truly "holy" perspectives). By the same token, we can never truly accept all people--it's impossible.

So strive so as to live with love toward all, and acceptance of only what is right.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

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