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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.
It’s okay to not like everyone, but you must love everyone.
-Donna Mumm (1935-2023)

Growing up with two employed parents meant that during the week (when I wasn’t in school), I spent Monday-Thursday with my aunt, and Friday with my grandma who I called ‘Mama’. She was a very faith-based person who spread love and kindness to others through her actions and words. Not only was she an integral part of her church, but she also left an impact on everyone she spoke to. She left pieces of advice without even trying to. Her general kindness taught me how to love others the way she did and to have grace. This is not to say that she didn’t fight for what she believed in. Instead, she didn’t believe in a need for anger or upset when kindness was always an option.

Her quote, “It’s okay to not like everyone, but you must love everyone”, is something that I think about whenever I get upset with someone’s beliefs. I don’t have to agree with the person, but I do have to give them the love and respect that I would want. She also taught me that people who need the most love are the ones who are the most unkind. My Mama was full of inspiration for a life well lived. I cannot think of a single time where someone said that Mama wasn’t kind or didn’t make them feel more comfortable. She truly believed in the power of kindness that is in all of us. I want to be able to hold on to this belief of love over hate and listening over judgment.

Mama’s house was a place where anyone could walk in, and she’d offer you something to eat or drink. She didn’t care if you were one of her best friends from church or if you were someone she met when she did polling at the voting booths. She wouldn’t turn you away and would in fact encourage you to stay and visit. You never felt like an afterthought at her house. Her belief in love made everyone around her feel welcome to share their feelings, good or bad. She didn’t judge or interrupt. She would give you space to talk about what was on your mind even if she didn’t agree with your viewpoint.

In my life, I try to embody my grandmother’s words in hopes that others will see her in me. I want to be that loving person for everyone, even when we don’t believe that same things. I don’t have to like every opinion or agree with every viewpoint, but I do have to listen and love. Everyone should try listening and loving instead of hating and ignoring for at least one day. Love beats hate in every way!

Alexis Serio is a new writer for Her Campus at St. Bonaventure University. She plans to write pieces surrounding topics of feminism, entertainment, and campus life. Alexis is a freshman studying Communication, Social Justice, and Advocacy. Beyond Her Campus, Alexis spends her time studying with friends and getting involved in the many clubs SBU has to offer. In her free time, you can find Alexis reading, watching Modern Family, or making her friends laugh when it's "Alexis Time". She is also a lover of almost any type of music, as long as she can sing along with it.