“It’s great, but it’s just not my cup of tea.”
I like tea, but I wouldn’t consider myself a tea connoisseur. Lately, though, I’ve found that my go-to drinks have been water and sprite. Perhaps because they’re both clear, or let’s be real, it’s because neither of them has caffeine. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with caffeine, but for me, I can’t overdo it. I’ll let you in on another secret; I don’t actually like coffee. I’ll admit that I have the occasional iced vanilla latte with one shot of espresso but, that’s enough for me.
JASMINE, WHY ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT DRINKS?
While I’m sure this has been the case since life began, something I’ve noticed in recent years is the disqualification of opinions—wrong opinions or the opinions that don’t line up with the majority. If one person felt strongly that every person on the face of the earth should like coffee and that there’s no reason not to, I can almost guarantee that they’d stop at nothing to let their opinion be known. And if not agreed with, I think it’s safe to say that shots would be fired. (Not literal shots; this is a new term people are using when referring to verbal attacks. LOL. Kidding, I’m not that old!!)
Now, to be completely honest, this post was born out of something I noticed in my heart. I was thinking about the fact that I have a little over 800 followers on Instagram, yet when I make a post, I average about 40 likes or so. I started to wonder if it was me. Do people not like me? Have they muted me? What’s the deal? Although I can honestly say that since taking a break from Instagram, I was genuinely curious and not hurt or offended by it. Feels great to have questions born out of curiosity and not out of offense, which for me, in the past, would lead to mental shots fired at the other person or persons involved. #justbeingreal
Then I thought about it; it’s not me at all. Maybe it’s just not their cup of tea, among other factors such as algorithms and the likelihood that they probably didn’t see my post to begin with. Both facts are entirely understandable. And although I have often leaned towards pleasing the crowd, I’m OKAY if my posts are just not their cup of tea.
I wonder what life would look like if we lived from that perspective. Let’s be real; I wonder what politics would look like if we viewed them from that perspective. I’m sure many arguments may have been prevented. But I’m not here to talk politics. However, if you’d like to take this post and apply it to politics, I wouldn’t be opposed to it.
Anyway, I cringe at the idea of “making” someone do something, such as making them like what I like—or manipulating them into liking my posts or even answering to my every need and desire. The thought of control, or having to be in control, creeps me out. Two (of many) pet peeves of mine are control and manipulation. But I can’t say that I’ve never craved nor operated from either of them. I have. It’s not that I’ve wanted to, but I didn’t realize it.
I didn’t realize forced opinions were a form of manipulation and control. At least not in the moment. During my social break, I spent time thinking about responses and reactions. I find the action of a response is a calmer, more rational way of handling things. While reactions are quick and often given with little to no thought of the final outcome. So, do I want to respond or react?
I’d found myself reacting to people’s opinions as though opinions are facts when they’re not. I found myself tempted to write people out of my life when their opinions didn’t match mine, which, by the way, would leave me friendless. I had to pull myself away and consider this vital truth: Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. That’s the beauty of free will and free speech. While opinions may not be fact or truth, they’re still important to who they’re important to.
My trying to change someone’s opinion to fit my narrative is not fair to the other person. To the person that I deeply love! Y’all, my family and I don’t all have the same opinions, yet I love them so much! The same is true of my friends! But we’re good—and healthy—if we can agree to disagree. If I can order a sprite when we’re eating out while everyone else orders Dr Pepper, so be it. We’re there to eat and have a great time, not nitpick at each other’s choice of drink—or food!
I realize that “life’s” opinions are much more than the type of drinks we choose, but I think that sometimes we make things harder than they have to be. The drink analogy was just my way of simplifying things. I don’t live by this perfectly; I don’t do anything perfectly, for that matter. But, I’m praying and working to, by the grace of God, live from the perspective of allowing people the freedom to have their own opinions. I don’t know their experience nor why they do what they do but, I can always ask. And if nothing else, we can respectfully agree to disagree.
I mean, some things are just not my—or your—cup of tea, and that’s okay with me. ❤️