“Why Acceptance Matters: The Importance of Inclusivity and Diversity”
Story: The Jim Thorpe Story (Source: Internet)
Jim Thorpe was an American athlete and Olympic gold medalist. If you look closely at the photo, you can see that he’s wearing different socks and shoes. This wasn’t a fashion statement. It was the 1912 Olympics, and Jim represented the U.S. in track and field.
On the morning of his competition, his shoes were stolen. He frantically asked teammates if they had an extra pair of shoes. One teammate had an extra shoe. It was too small but he squeezed his foot into it. And the other shoe he found in a trash bin. It was too big and he put on a couple of pairs of socks to make that fit. Then he went out and competed against the greatest decathletes in the world and won the race at 1500 meters.
That’s the pair that he’s wearing in the photo. This is a perfect reminder that even when life isn’t fair the question is what are you going to do about it today?
Whatever you woke up with this morning; stolen shoes, ill health, failed relationships, failed business, don’t let it stop you from running your race.
You’ve got an impact to make so get on with living. You can have reasons not to or you can have results…but you can’t have both.
What is the meaning of Acceptance?
Acceptance means that irrespective of any situation, I accept everyone as it is.
There can be many situations when things may not happen the way I think, they should happen. Life will always throw curve balls that we can’t prepare for or anticipate. In those situations, too, I should accept everything as it is.
Example: During the Covid pandemic, there were strict travel restrictions. It may be an extremely difficult task to remain at the home, with the same family members, without meeting with the outer world and travelling anywhere. Since the majority have recently passed through that phase, we can look back and assess, how did we pass that time. Even if we had cribbed, yelled, irritated, and depressed, the situation had remained the same. We can now reflect and can observe that there could have been a better option to deal with that situation. Accepting that particular situation would have been the first step in the right direction.
Yes, acceptance is a choice—a hard one most definitely, but a choice, nonetheless.
Why Acceptance is Importance?
We need to develop the habit of looking at whatever happens through a positive mindset instead of a negative, defeatist one.
Life will bring many challenges, such as the death of someone we love, and it’s not easy to embrace them when we’re suffering and wishing those things would have never happened. But if we start cultivating acceptance in our lives right now, we’ll likely cope with future crises differently and view them from a different perspective. We will accept instead of resisting.
Whether it’s a family loss, a missed opportunity, or a sudden change in your plans, being able to accept things that are out of your control will help you maintain inner peace and happiness.
Acceptance is the key to converting momentary happiness to enduring happiness. It helps you move from feeling happy to being happy.
It is important for the following reasons
- To remain physically healthy
- To remain mentally peaceful
- To enjoy life as it is
- To accept everyone as it is
- Avoids any negative thought process
How to Effectively Implement it?
The first and foremost thing that needs to be clearly understood is that ‘Change is the only constant thing in the world.’ There will never be any status quo and things will keep on changing without our approval.
When we have an attitude of acceptance, we acknowledge that something has changed without our permission! I need to accept it as it is and see what best I can do in this situation. Many times, we also have a feeling that if we accept everything as it is, it means that I am weak, we do not have a fighting spirit, we lack that killer instinct and many more things. What I need to understand at this stage is that acceptance does not mean surrender. It only means I agree with the present state and am ready to take action (response and not reaction!)
Yes, it’s hard to practice acceptance when you deeply wish things were different. But the truth is, sometimes we can’t change our reality, even if we try.
So instead of staring at the closed door in front of us or getting tired and bruised while we try to break it down, let’s turn around and see how many other windows we have open.
Great courage is needed in life to be yourself, in failure, in success, in appreciation, in condemnation, when you are going very high and when you are going very low… and all climates come.
Being accepting of things sets us free.