Inclusion vs Happiness

by Erika Sams

There is a difference between inclusion and everyone being happy in every situation. We may all be welcome in the grocery store, but we don’t all buy the same brand of cereal.

The United States we live in today is more inclusive and accepting than any other time or place in history. So if this is the case, why are people so unhappy? Why do we continue to fight so hard for the rights already held? Because whether we admit it or not, we are not fighting for anyone’s right to be who or what they are; we are fighting to all be comfortable and happy.

What makes us different is what makes us beautiful. From personality, values, to shapes and colors. Life would be awfully boring if we all looked, thought and wanted all the same things. Celebration of life is celebration of our differences. And those who came before us fought with their lives to give us this life. To live in a place where we don’t think twice about sharing a bathroom with our fellow human of any color, and gay or straight you’re free to marry in all 50 states. What a time to be alive! Yet we are unhappier than ever.

It would help to realize that no matter who you are or what you do, not everyone is going to like you. If you throw a party, own a store, or simply paint the walls, someone won’t like it. One person will believe it should be done differently, another person won’t feel included because it was planned with another’s point of view.

While we are all welcome, we won’t all like everything we see or hear; because we are different. And until we step back, realize how much we have, the beautiful, free world we get to live in, we won’t be happy and continue to fight.

We all walk into the same store, and leave with completely different things. If you don’t like something, move along, no one is forcing you to stay or agree with anything. You don’t like things at work, find another job. You don’t like the music, change the station. No one is forcing you to do anything.

So welcome to America. We have more freedom and rights than anywhere in the world. Let’s stop tearing each other down and demanding our way in every situation. Look at what we have, and celebrate it. Wear what you want, love who you love and say what you think. Claim the life that has been given to you, and let others do the same, even if you don’t like it as much. We share the same world, so let’s be a little kinder to one another. Then maybe, if we learn to accept others as we want to be accepted, we will all find ourselves a little happier in the end.

Stop fighting, start loving.

XOXO

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