Ouch.

I literally just did the very thing I can’t stand when others do.

My friends and I were talking about Beauty and the Beast, and of course I told them how much I loved it.

And, of course, the “controversial gay scenes” came up.

Disclaimer: I sincerely believe the family is ordained of God and that true marriage exists between a man and a woman for divine purposes.

Moving on.

I proceeded to tell my friends I didn’t find anything personally offensive in the entire movie in that regard.

“Everyone who was worried were being babies,” I added.

Instantly I felt a pinch in my stomach, but I didn’t know why.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized I had not only labeled everyone who had concerns with the movie as being “a baby,” but in so doing, I also condemned them for their opinion.

To be honest, some of my other friends hold the very opinion I was condemning.

I love those people and would never want to condemn them for their opinions, because I know there is more to their souls than that.

I hate when people label and limit other people.

Ever since I was a kid, my heart has been with the little guy or gal who was outnumbered. I’ve had many experiences in which I was the little one.

I’ve often held the unpopular opinion.

So why would I condemn anyone for having an opinion different than me? How could I pick on the little one?

And yet, this happens every day.

We cry out in anger when we are mislabeled, and then turn around and label the very people we are upset with for labeling us.

It’s a sad, twisted cycle. Actually, even if the label is accurate, we as humans don’t generally like being limited to a fraction of who we are.

So how does one keep from getting caught up in the gust of ugliness they are trying to escape?

Personally, if I could redo this experience, I would first acknowledge the opposing opinion as something worth studying and understanding instead of something to be shrugged off.

I would then try to analyze the argument in relation to the life experience of the one with that opinion.

After all, we are all a summary of our life experiences. That is what shapes our perspective.

I would hold off on immediately attacking those who don’t agree with me. I wouldn’t label them as “babies” or anything at all beyond individuals with an idea.

Then, I would likely re-evaluate my own opinion and have a more well-rounded perspective, because I will see more than just my side of the matter.

In theory, this is what I try to do everyday. But sometimes, in the moment, I let my emotions get in the way.

I may not be able to redo that particular event, but I can prepare for my next opportunity to open my mind to others’ ideas.

Until then and for now, I have time to evaluate the very opinion I don’t stand by. And I can apologize to the people I labeled as “babies.”