By no means is this a comprehensive list of do's and don'ts, or a magic end-all to hate and prejudices. Rather, it's a reminder. It's a reminder that we, as humans, should follow some very simple guidelines to ensure civility among one another.
Without judgment or bias, without navigating with your perceived moral compass, and without diminishing the other's worth; as people who walk this earth together awaiting whatever the future holds for us, be modest, be kind and be open.
You may remember these, but just in case:
- If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all. It's not up to you to pass judgments on someone's thoughts, feelings or actions. If you don't like what's coming out of their mouth, most likely they won't like what comes out of yours.
- Don't judge a book by its cover. It's not your responsibility to critique someone from the outside. Let people express themselves the way they see fit -- on the outside. Chances are if you can look past what makes you uncomfortable on the surface you will learn to see the person underneath -- perhaps even love them.
- Your mouth is too small for such big words. It's really unbecoming to speak with words that are vulgar or demeaning -- especially when directed towards someone. If you need to express your opinion of someone or something and you feel the need to incorporate a four-letter word -- don't. It's not worth saying.
- Play nice in the sandbox. Whatever your philosophies or fundamental beliefs are about something, we are all here together. We share communities, work spaces and schools -- we've chosen to share these spaces. Don't be stingy with your space and open your minds to outsiders looking to settle into a new environment.
- Practice civil discourse. Much of what we perceive to be "wrong" in the world can be right. Cultures, religions, sexual orientation and diverse belief systems -- they can all be "right" if we leave it to the individual to shape the message for themselves. It's not up to you to determine one's pathway to righteousness, and it's not up to you to scold or ridicule one's perceived alternate lifestyle.