Sunday 17 January 2016

Respecting people

It's my view that you don't need to 'like' every single person you encounter or meet.

In fact, I would say it is actually impossible to like everyone given that our world is constituted of, for example, criminals or people with bad intentions - and even if we don't go that far, there are always going to be clashes in personality.

However, I'd like to explore this issue in the narrower context of family.

Some extended families, such as mine, can be quite large.

For example it is not uncommon to see a clan of, say, 10 brothers and sisters and their numerous children.

In this context it is quite impossible to expect everyone to 'like' everyone. Every clan has its own dilemmas or dramas, even within each respective immediate family.

That being said, while we don't have to like everyone, as my sister says, I believe you can choose to respect people - assuming of course they don't commit some kind of grievous physical harm towards you or the like.

I think our lives are far too short to let petty differences get in the way of having a united and happy family. The word 'petty' is relative of course; since disputes are quite emotional and offensive by nature, it's very likely that all parties to a dispute would take objection to anyone calling their altercation 'petty'. However, when I refer to the word 'petty' I use that in comparison to the worst possible issue that could arise in a person's life: Death.

And that's the thing. When I die, I don't want to leave behind any disputes or cause any people to be offended. Stress will obviously also increase the chances of death and harm one's quality of life.

In summary, while we may not like certain aspects of our relatives' or family's lives, I think we can either choose to

A) forgive
B) look at their positives
or, at the very least,
C) opt to put aside our differences temporarily at reunions

for the sake of peace.

After all, it is not like we all are completely without fault.

Andre Lim

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