By Amy Cincotta (’23)
A person can only take so much before their heart shatters, just like the back windshield did when my mother smashed it before she said she no longer loved my sister. The sounds of my mother storming up the stairs and slamming the door echoed throughout the still house. Across the kitchen table, my dad’s emotionless eyes stared at my sister as my brother and I, sitting on either side of her, squeezed her hand tightly. My sister knew she wouldn’t be accepted by my parents; however, their opinion was not her reality. This pivotal moment in my life started my struggle with respecting others’ opinions even if they don’t mirror mine.
Growing up, my mother was intense about Christianity and never gave my siblings and I a choice to decide for ourselves what we believed in. She reminds me of the mother from Carrie with her intense religious speeches and believing everything is the Devil.
As I grew older, I started interacting with different people, cultures, and beliefs; and I began developing my own opinions. When I expressed these new ideas to my mother, she would scream how wrong I am and to not listen to anyone else but her. I vowed to myself that I will never be like her; forcing people to believe in something they can’t.
Most of the time, it was difficult to keep that promise, especially that day when my sister came out. It took restraint to not yell at my mother that she was in the wrong and to accept my sister for who she is. No matter how hard I tried, she never changed.
As time went on, I was still angry at my mother. My sister, on the other hand, was not. I didn’t understand it, but the more time I spent with my sister, I soon realized that she didn’t let my parent’s opinions define who she is or affect her self-worth. Friends and family say that my mother will come around. However, I’ve accepted that she won’t and that’s alright. I had to learn that not everyone, including my mother, will understand different views or change their own to accommodate others. Needless to say, even if you do not believe in the same things or agree with other’s opinions, I believe you must respect and accept their reasonings.
There’s a difference between expressing your opinions and being rude. If someone has an opposing view to yours, you don’t have to walk away, you can have a debate. Debates help people communicate different ideas; however, a debate shouldn’t contain words of hate or threats. In this day and age, everyone is offended by everything and I’m offended. Why can’t we all just talk through our differences, accepting them and moving on. Don’t waste your breath making someone change to satisfy your views or force someone to believe in something they can’t. Give your points. Give your reasonings and move on. The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.