Unlearn



I think it was Plato that said, “Only the dead have seen the end of war.” I’m not afraid to fight, because I’ve been through many of them. And because I have, the likely hood of me engaging in confrontation is very low. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Sure I speak up if I have seen an injustice. But to entrap me into confrontation, probably would not happen. Why? Because outside of you putting your hands on me {or my wife}, I try and respect our differences.

I have written about this in the past. But I am reminded of it today, because of COVID-19 and watching so many online battles taking place. I literally mean friends and families being torn apart. This is sad, because you would think that those you are “supposedly” connected to, you would cut them some slack. But I digress. Learning not to take someone’s opinion personally, will save you drama and create peace. It’s okay simply to not be a fan.

I am not a fan of Trump. I think he will go down as the worst president in history. I believe he has set Christians back a 100 years, and with 5 or more bankruptcies {depending on what source you use}, he is at best a sub par businessman. Despite that, I have friends who adore him. I don’t get it. And you know what? I don’t need to. They’re entitled to their opinion, just as I am entitled to mine. While we could use that difference to put a dark spot on our relationship, we respect each other. For we have helped each other long before Trump. And I am sure that will continue long after he is gone. Winning!

Same holds true with religions. As I was once a chaplain for many years, and having studied most world religious text, today I am not a fan. While I enjoyed them at the time, today I feel they cause more harm than good. But I have friends that are hardcore, faith based followers. Just becuase I moved on, doesn’t mean they have too. Yes, I am all in favor of cutting destructive people out of my life, but not because they believe something different. What kind of man would that make me?

People’s opinions don’t infringe upon me. In fact, I have never lost a friend to a difference of opinion. Those that left because they couldn’t honor our differences, were never really fully invested in a relationship with me in the first place. And I am cool with that. Vaya con dios. When we start boxing ourselves out, we lose our ability to grow. Because no one has all the answers.



Leave room to expand your knowledge. Just because you were taught something as a child, does not mean you must keep that teaching for life. Many of us outgrew traditions as a child. Traditions like Santa Clause, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy. Why is it okay to lose those, but not question important teachings like religions, the roll of a man/woman, sexuality or preference? If Jesus, Buddha or Mohammad wasn’t ingrained into us as a child, would we hold onto that belief system?

As I grew up in the 60’s and 70’s, there were rolls that men and women had. Today, there is still some disparages, but it has gotten better. If you were only told that you should love the person that you feel most comfortable with and respects you, do you think that the LGBTQ conversation would be on the table? I don’t have an answer for that, but believe that it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Who knows, I could be wrong. The point is that differences are what make us stronger. They should force us to examine why we believe, what we believe. If they don’t, you should ask yourself why you are afraid to question, and what do you get from judging?

I am not a fan of guns, eating meat or smoking pot {for example.} I have never even tried pot. Do I think any of those things are wrong? Absolutely! They’re not wrong, just wrong for me, and that could change. Yet, I have friends who love them all. They have their lane. I have mine. See how easy that is? No judgement. No separation. Just coexisting as mature people do.

I leave you with this. Until we understand that people can better us, despite their differences, I don’t think we will ever fully be formed. Unlearn what you have learned. At least have courage to examine it. Get outside of your comfort zone. I promise you, you will find a world of people just like you, trying to do the best they can.

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Vance Larson

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I am a retired crisis counselor of 20 years who has spent the last decade working as both a Life…

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