I was sitting at the hairdresser the other day when a woman about my age wearing a hijab
came in to get her hair done. She sat down in the chair and told the hairdresser what type of hairstyle she wanted and took off her hijab. Mind you there were no men, all the hairdressers were women. One of the other dressers opened the door to get something the woman looked towards the door with discomfort and tried to cover her hair as much as she could and then kindly asked “is it okay if you close the door” to which the hairdresser did not respond but hesitantly closed the door. And again they opened the door without a care in the world not caring whether this woman was uncomfortable this time the woman didn’t say anything. She just shifted about in her chair looking towards the door and trying to cover her hair. This went on for the entire time she was getting her hair done.
I was so irritated by the whole thing I even involved myself at some point and said “can we
please close the door? I think she is uncomfortable.” but even that didn’t stop them from
opening the door and leaving it open again.

As if all this wasn bad enough when the woman left one of the dressers said “thank God
she wouldn’t even let us breathe and the other continued “yeah she is so uptight and an
extremist, ugh thank God she is gone. I jumped there was a world of insults about to escape me in anger but I managed to hold myself back. I knew that the moment I spoke out of anger I would essentially be them.

You see, I am a Christian woman with biblical values. My beliefs and practices stem from
what I know to be true. That does not mean that everyone else that does not follow my way of living is uptight and an extremist. We all have different beliefs which I know to be true you may disagree with and that is just fine as long as you don’t ridicule or disrespect me and my beliefs we should be able to live together just fine.

Where did basic human decency go? Just a little bit of understanding and care for one’s
beliefs? Why is a person made out to be this thing or that thing just because they don’t look the way we do or believe the things we do? What happened to tolerating and carrying one another? Why is it so hard to respect one another? Why are we filled with arrogance and not humility? Why? Why? Why?

It pains me to think that the people in that hairdresser are the type of people that will try and bring my daughter down one day. It pains me that this is reality for most women and men that have different beliefs from the majority.

I want to tell you though that it’s okay. It is fine to be you. If you believe in something and you know that to be true it’s okay to hold on to that with all your heart. It’s also okay to ask someone to stop when they are making you feel uncomfortable. It’s okay to stand up for yourself and say “sorry you are making me uncomfortable, can you please stop”. Just make sure you don’t replace anger with anger, make sure that it’s not stemming out if catered be kind and soft but stern at the same time. You, your beliefs, your identity is important and they need to be respected. The same way that they, their beliefs, their identity is important.

And if you are met with more hatred and pushback when doing this walk away, remember
and understand you are nor the problem here and neither is that person the problem is their experiences, their past, their hurt, their damage. That is the bad guy not the person learn to hate the act of the person and not the person him/herself. Once you separate the two you will find such peace.

“Hurt people hurt people. That’s how pain patterns get passed on from generation to
generation. Break the chain today. Meet anger with sympathy, contempt with compassion,
cruelty with kindness. Greet grimaces with smiles. Forgive and forget about finding fault.
Love is the weapon of the future.”- Yehuda Berg.

I know that the more I have practiced this quote I have won over hatred and found so much peace. That doesn’t mean that it’s easy. It’s harder than getting angry and bashing out because that comes on naturally but I know that this is the best way for me to keep my
peace and spread it around as well. So I push myself not to fall to anger, disdain, hatred and unkind words.

And to those that have no place for tolerance, for a different thought or even person, I want to ask: Do you understand the pain your words and actions cause? Do you care that your words can penetrate through the flesh and pierce through the soul? Does it matter to you at all? Or does it give you pleasure to see another human being in pain, in distress?

I understand that for some or even most it’s not intentional. I know that sometimes it is a
reflection of what is going on inside. But that cycle needs to stop somewhere. Fight to heal,
fight to replace the anger and pain with sympathy and love. It probably will not be easy but it is possible and it will give you freedom. So get the healing you deserve the right way, be it counseling or even through your religious practices. I know I can’t tell you the right way for you because I’m not equipped, but my advice would be to speak to someone you trust and go from there.

I want to conclude with this quote by John F Kennedy.

“Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the
oppression or persecution of others.”-John F Kennedy