The homogeneous tendencies of our society are wearing me thin.
It's true, I am relatively opinionated. My closer friends know my opinions on many things--I voice them frequently--but due to my latest advertisement of my view on Starbucks has stirred up plenty of counter-argument.
Taking into account that, over the course of the summer, nearly half my friends have found employment at the coffee giant (seriously, how many people can this place afford to employ?!), most of the feedback is negative. However, even those whose wallets don't receive compensation didn't generally agree. Some do, most don't.
This is fine; however, it brings back to the forefront of my mind the great opposition people have for different lifestyles. For example, I recently became a vegetarian. When I announced my decision to my friends, they responded negatively. They couldn't understand my motivations, but more importantly, actively tried to dissuade me.
This is where hypocrisies kick in. People commonly point to diversity as a guiding principle, but generally don't see it in terms of lifestyle. Diversity means outward differences, not personal lifestyles.
It hurts. To look at the people close to you and realize you don't have as much in common as you thought, alone, afloat in a sea of opposition, can be painful. If nothing else, my experiences have taught me something of what it means to be an oppressed minority.
It isn't right, but I can see some of the uses. Creating a homogeneous society keeps conflict low. There's nothing to fight about when everyone believes the same thing. However, restricting beliefs stagnates society and leads to violent resistance to change. And change is necessary. A society must be able to adapt to cultural alterations that can come from a variety of sources. A society that prevents change will perish.
So, what I'm asking is for greater acceptance. You don't need to agree with everything someone does, but you should be open to change. Change will come, whether the doors are locked and windows closed or not.
My opinions hold importance--to me. If you don't agree, I accept that, but don't try to change me. If I see the need, I'll change myself.