I was taught, and I have taught, that while we don't need to approve of everyone's lives and lifestyles, we do need to accept others, and do our best to understand their stories, a very simple simple lesson ingrained in me from my very beginning. And not only was that lesson taught, but the actions were there. My grandparents and parents were genuine examples of tolerance and acceptance, and curiosity. If you don't understand, if you want to know more, ask. Most people are willing and happy to share their stories.
Life is good, and life is great when judging is thrown out the window and appreciation, or at least curiosity, for differences, becomes the norm.
And when that becomes the norm, then understanding takes place, and stories are shared, and songs are sung, and tales are told, and ways are explained, and meals are shared, and lives are lived in tandem, out of respect. And then we become authentic people who care for discourse and lives. And for our stories - once told, we will remember them, and live them. Therein lies the magic of acceptance, appreciation, alive'ness.
And this is my hope, my dream, my drive.
“It is only when our old songs and old tales are passing from one human being to another, by word-of-mouth, that they can attain their full fascination. No printed page can create this spell. It is the living word—the sung ballad and the told tale—that holds our attention and reaches our hearts.”
~ Richard Chase
A side note - my tattoo symbolizes this; happy for it.