By Erika Pixton

Sometimes, life feels like there has to be a right way…a one way of doing things. Because of this one-sided feeling, it brings conflict and negativity because as a human race, we are not a one size fits all. We all have different cultures, upbringings, opinions, values, and beliefs. And the most beautiful part of it all, is that is exactly how life has always been and is supposed to be.

We can be different and still respect each other. We are all navigating this life in how we see fit for each of us individually, yet still need to find a way to connect with each other as humans. We need to build bridges. Treating others how we expect to be treated ourselves…that is where a melting pot of a very culturally diverse world can come together.

We are all navigating this life in how we see fit for each of us individually, yet still need to find a way to connect with each other as humans. We need to build bridges.

We can be different, we can believe differently, we can raise our kids in any way that sees fit for our individual lifestyles. And with that, we can celebrate with each other our unique qualities and differences. We can be ourselves and be human to others. We must build bridges. One bridge that has been on my mind lately to being more human is to LOVE. 

As a Mom, I’ve been blessed to experience how I love my children individually. They are not the same humans. They NEED to be loved differently. Thanks to them, I’m starting to see how that should be applied to my life with ALL the humans I come across. My friends, my neighbors, my community, and especially the strangers I meet daily.

I’ve been in experiences where people have said or done things that have been hurtful, offensive, or for whatever reason has made me feel conflicted with them. Many of those experiences I look back and wish I could try again in my response. Because some have been less than stellar and I know I burned a bridge or two rather than built. But because of those growing pains, I’m learning with future experiences to let myself feel my feelings, process them, and then make a choice. I am the only one in charge of the choices I make and feel the feelings I have. I can choose to let others’ choices affect me or not. As I think about how I want to feel from others, I realize I need to be human back and just LOVE.

As a society, we’ve learned the behavior to be so quick to judge, so quick to tear down, and so quick to call out others shortcomings. But where does the end result lead us? Hurt. Pain. Misunderstanding. Hate. This is not the best version of being human. This does not bring peace. This is not how we or our children learn to build bridges.

Instead, when we make an effort to see past first impressions, dig deeper and find ways to love, that’s when we build bridges in our interactions and relationships. As a Mom, I get to practice that choice of love daily. My kids and I are not always on the same page with how we do things. One LOVES to take his time getting ready and becomes easily distracted over the smallest of things. The other, thinks the tasks being asked to do are too hard for her to complete. The last thing I want to feel in those trying moments is love. But, as I practice (the key word is practice here… I’m FAR from perfecting this trait myself) showing love when we are at moments that we don’t see eye to eye…that is when the real understanding happens and the respect for each other begins.

Just love. For the sake of humankind, we can always choose to show more love. Love people for where they are at. Love people for how far they’ve come. Love others because of their differences and variety and value they bring into your life. Love those that love you. Love those that don’t. Love the stranger you interact with. Love the people in your community, old and young. Love brings peace. Love builds bridges to being human.


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