Be a reflection of what you would like to see in others.  If you want love, give love.  If you want honesty, give honesty.  If you want respect, give respect.  You get in return what you give.  Author Unknown.

When our kids are young we show them love and teach them about love.  We show them, hopefully, that life is a beautiful rainbow- we are all different.  We teach our kids that differences are good and that we just need to be kind. What is beautiful is; what we are teaching them is TRUTH.  Differences are good and should be celebrated not twisted into something ugly.

It must be so confusing for kids when they turn into teenagers and then young adults because all that kumbaya- lets be who you are in the world- gets turned on its head- and you can only be you if you believe what the world believes.

Recently I had an interesting conversation with a dear friend.  It was about sharing ourselves.  Sharing our thoughts and feelings with others even when our opinions contradict what either the world or the other person may think.  I'm confused (not hard to confuse me so maybe this isn't so profound) about when it became a problem to BELIEVE in concrete things.  When did the world change so much that we couldn't say we believe in something with our heart- but that didn't mean we DISLIKE something or someone else?  When did it become ingrained in us that we had to be wishy washy on everything so as not to hurt someone else's feelings? Maybe I don't get your point and you don't get mine- and that's ok! 

Once again I'm raising the flag on this one... (go figure- I have a stash of flags- since I'm always raising them).  We are HUMANS (just in case you forgot).  We absolutely and intrinsically believe in ideas and core values.  WE ALL DO.  People who say they don't are fighting against basic human nature by consciously trying NOT to believe in something.  We have been brain washed and desensitized into thinking that we can't share what they are.  If it doesn't fit in the box (like the evening news) then it's hate speech or hurtful to others.  

I'm here to tell you the real crime isn't in what you or I believe or don't believe.  The real crime is not having the stones to share our beliefs.  How can we be authentically us if we can't or more accurately WON'T even have an opinion on anything?  How can we have REAL relationships if people don't KNOW or say where they stand.  

Listen, BELIEVING in something isn't a bad thing.  Contrary to public opinion I would argue that STANDING UP FOR SOMETHING and OWNING it ensures credibility and character.  Just because what you stand for isn't in accordance with your neighbor or your best friend- that does not mean you dislike them or anyone else for that matter- you have a differing belief or value-PERIOD.  I also believe that being quiet or agreeing with someone just because you don't want to 'rock the boat' or because you think you are honoring that relationship actually has the opposite effect.  

Just a little funny...if you want to be surrounded by differing opinions... try homeschooling amongst friends and family who don't.... (Insert HUGE WIDE EYED FACE!)

Sharing  yourself- your beliefs and values- out of love and deep conviction can only deepen relationships.  If you can't BE you by SHARING you, then WHO are you?  At the end of the day, love, honesty and respect will be magnified and strengthened- and therefore relationships deepened-if you have the courage to Share WHO YOU ARE.  Someone I love dearly a long time ago told me to "be who you are and own it."  Author Unknown-to you.  To me she helped unclip my wings.