As a young girl, when I didn’t understand something, I automatically disagreed with it. When I couldn’t relate to a certain group of people, I automatically opposed their way of thinking.

This was a foolish and closed-minded way of thinking that I am now ashamed of.

As I’ve grown into my own person, I’ve started to realize that my biggest goals here on earth are to learn, progress and be as much like Jesus Christ as possible.

Would Christ turn his back on those who aren’t the same as him? Would Christ have a closed heart toward those who choose a different lifestyle than him? Would Christ ever pass judgment at a certain group of people?

As members of the church, we preach that we should “love thy neighbor,” but our actions speak louder than our words.

The natural man in us sometimes leads us down a judgmental and closed-minded path.

It is important to realize that God created all of us to be different and that the world would be a boring place without diversity.

We should consciously try every day to be more Christlike and love everyone around us.

How wonderful it would be if we truly got to know people before formulating an opinion about them.

How different our world would be if we looked past stereotypes and outward qualities to see the inner beauty within each of God’s children.

I was appalled the other day when I heard someone say they hate people with accents.

It made me so upset when I heard another person say they were scared of gay people.

How shameful it is to hate someone because they are different than us.

We are all born to be a certain way, which is essentially out of our control. The way God created us should be acceptable.

Think about the confidence and love people would have for themselves if we decided to love them.

Think for a minute about how you can be more loving and accepting toward others.

Sometimes we don’t care about people’s personality because we have conditioned ourselves to dislike them right away if they display attributes we dislike or disagree with.

We need to look past the things that intimidate us about others.

We need to let go of the hate we have toward certain groups and look within a person before we judge them.

If we judge our fellow man based on certain attributes, then we miss out on opportunities to learn and grow.

We are all guilty of it at times, but we should strive as disciples of Christ to let go of our ethnocentric way of thinking. The world does not revolve around one group, ethnicity or race.

We all contribute to making the world what it is. If we open our minds and hearts to people who are different than us, then we just might develop a newfound love for others.

Next time you see someone who is different than you, try making a new friend instead of passing judgment.