When I was younger my world was explained to me as being between those who were like me e.g Catholic and those who were not like me e.g. Non-Catholic.
Having said that, my parents were very kind and accepting of others and would go out of their way to never cause offence, but a difference was always explained so that we understood it.
I have gone out of my way throughout my adult life to respect and support the differences which I see in others, but I can’t help being aware of it.
Recently we were invited to celebrate a renewal of vows for some friends who are celebrating their twentieth wedding anniversary. They are preparing for the occasion as if it was a wedding. There will be respective Stag Do’s and Hen Do’s and a white dress and morning suits, photographer and cars and flowers.
When I was first made aware of their plans I inwardly judged the idea of all the fuss, until my wife explained to me that the friend in question had said that she felt unfulfilled at the ceremony which took place when she got married, there was little fuss and she wanted to be married in church. She has sought out a priest and he is prepared to conduct the ceremony and she is terribly excited.
A light came on in my head and I suddenly “got it” – embrace everything – embrace and respect the choices of others which perhaps are different.
My daughter was having the plans related to her – sadly she jumped to my initial conclusion – a chip of the old block – I stepped in and explained that our friends love each other after twenty years and want to celebrate and where is the harm in that.
I said to my daughter – “You only live once” (I think!) – don’t allow yourself to miss out on celebrating the differences in others – make a conscious choice to embrace it all.
My next blog will be: Evening Meal