The world can be a cruel place, partly because human beings can be really horrible creatures. We love to pass judgment when people aren't exactly like us, which is totally ridiculous. It's 2019 and it's time to stop shaming each other about the following 14 things.
1. Political beliefs.
Somewhere along the way, healthy political debates about opposing viewpoints turned into sheer hatred for people on the other side of the aisle. You don't have to agree with everything someone believes, but you do have to respect their right to vote for whoever they want – even if you loathe that person.
In recent years, the LGBTQ community has had reason to celebrate. Gay marriage was legalized in all 50 states in 2015, and a nationwide conversation has been started about gender identity and what it means. But there's still a long way to go. People still face discrimination every day for who they love. This is stupid, needless, and downright pathetic.
When something bad happens in our life, we're quickly reminded that very few things actually matter – health, family, and friends. But when we're not faced with a crisis, we seem to turn into total jerks who believe money equals success and happiness...and we tend to look down on those who don't make very much cash. That's pretty sad, don't you think?
4. The car they drive.
Cars keep getting bigger, more luxurious, and more expensive – and Americans are in a race to keep up with each other because we think cars equal prestige. The very fact that people can make judgements about a person based solely on what they drive is preposterous. After all, the Ferrari gets you to your destination just as quickly as the Civic.
5. The house they live in.
McMansions are out of control. Gated communities with pretentious homeowners associations rule the suburbs. Where a person lives seems to be directly linked to their perceived measure of success – which is quite silly, considering the recession proved that many people living in huge, expensive homes couldn't actually afford to be living there at all. A house is just a structure. Love makes a home.
6. Body size.
The term "body shaming" is so common that it's become a household word. We're all created equal, whether we're a size 4 or a 14. Society seems to forget that, largely thanks to women's magazines which publish airbrushed photos of celebrities on their covers every month. The truth is, beauty comes in all sizes (even if Cosmopolitan doesn't agree).
7. Skin color.
It's incredible that racism is still a thing in America, all these years after the abolishment of slavery and the civil rights movement. Children aren't born racist; they get poisoned somewhere along the way. Adults need to do a hell of a lot better.
8. Their job.
Certain jobs come with a certain level of prestige. There's the white-collared jobs which command respect and higher paychecks, and there's the blue-collared jobs which require more physical exertion and don't pay as much money. But here's the thing – the world needs garbage collectors just as much as they need lawyers. Stop shaming people because they make an honest living.
9. Their past mistakes.
Everyone makes mistakes. If someone has apologized for any harm they caused and expressed a desire to move on, let them. Don't continue to make them pay for something that's in the past and can't be changed.
10. Their success.
When jealousy strikes, it can be extremely ugly. It's far too common to see people trying to take down someone because they're jealous of their success. As humans, we should celebrate each other's achievements.
11. Their failures.
When people fail, they don't feel great about it. They don't need you reminding them that they could have done better, or done something differently. Respect them for trying, and encourage them to try again.
12. Their relationships.
Other people's relationships aren't any of your business. Unless someone is being abused, understand that you don't know the dynamics of the private lives of two people. If one person in the relationship is a real asshole, the other person will probably realize it sooner or later. Until then, stay out of it.
13. Being single.
It seems like when someone is single, everyone tries to meddle. Grandma tries to hook you up with a person from her church, your co-worker wants to fix you up with her brother, and your friend feels sorry for you because you're often a third wheel. There's nothing wrong with being single, so stop making your single friend feel bad about it.
14. Anything that's out of their control.
Shaming someone for something that they can't change is wrong, wrong, wrong. It also makes them feel really shitty. So don't do it. Be kind instead.