Have you given this question a thought as to what acceptance may mean to you?
In the name of respecting each other, people sometimes require us to suspend our thinking faculties.
Let me share a story.
Someone I know happened to phone her dad to ask him to be careful. She shared with him how smoking was making people vulnerable to upper respiratory problems. And how with his age combined with many many years of smoking, it could expose him to deep trouble. Especially now, with all that is going on in the world with this COVID. Being so far away from him that she may not be able to help if things were to go wrong, she expressed her concern.
And what did her dad do?
He yelled back at her asking, do all five fingers look the same?? He angrily told how she should learn to be a little more accepting of people that are unlike her prim and proper self! Be respectful of my choices, he screamed at her.
She was so stunned with that response that she did not know what hit her!
To her, it was her dad and his smoking habit, for a vegan person like myself, it could be my meat-eating friend, and with you, it may be a roomie that loves beer for breakfast every day – asking us to be accepting of them.
This is what acceptance means, folks.
Acceptance means not quarreling with facts.
Acceptance in this particular context means to accept that the dad is a smoker. And that he’s very likely addicted to nicotine.
Acceptance means that you make your own arrangements to deal with the reality of a smokey house if you were to visit him at his place. You don’t get to grumble and whine about his smokey house!
Acceptance means that you must be prepared to shell out some money and invite him to a restaurant for a meet ‘n’ chat – for yourself because you don’t want to endure being the passive smoker while you politely hang out with him in his smokey house.
Acceptance means you come to terms that he has all the freedom to buy his cigarettes with his money and smoke all he wants within the confines of his own house.
Oh and, accepting dad has NOTHING to do with accepting his actions. Acceptance is not a behavioral blank-check!!
So, acceptance does NOT mean that you have accepted smoking to be normal. Or correct.
Or that you would fund his habit or sit and smoke to keep him company!
With your friends and family, differences can come with any issue.
No one – no friend, no family – not even your own dad, can require you to suspend commonsense and your ability to think through things, in the name of acceptance.
Having clarity about matters like this is vital if you don’t want people in your life guilt-tripping you.