No, we are not the same. Physically, emotionally, philosophically, educationally, politically, racially, regionally, ethnically, morally, and sexually we are as different as the sun and the moon.
People are tall, short, thin, obese, in wheelchairs, missing limbs, muscular or flabby. We are different.
There are stoic people and those who weep when an ant has been crushed under the weight of a shoe. Verbal abusers thrive on reducing a person into submissiveness. Others, stay calm even during the tense situations while others explode over a glass of spilled milk. We are different.
We are drawn to individuals or groups who have similar beliefs as ours. One group may advocate for isolationism and another may be advocating the advantages of globalization. Social issues are often major dividing points for many. Some people are rigid regarding their stance on social justice and conversely, there are others who firmly think a person’s success or failure is their responsibility, without outside assistance. There are disagreements between what one considers right and what another thinks is wrong. We are different.
Addressing education and educational standards is as tricky as a magician pulling a rabbit out of their hat. Not everyone is destined to be a scientist, physician, systems analyst, architect, dentist, accountant, attorney, or veterinarian. We need gardeners, roofers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, restaurant workers, hotel staff, grocers, and construction workers. Many adults go on and have successful careers without a college education. However, as a whole, college graduates earn more, are healthier, have more opportunities, better employment benefits, and greater interpersonal skills than those who did not graduate from college. We are different.
No, the bulk of the blame for our political division is not the fault of the news media. The cause and effect of our political unrest can be placed in the bank accounts, offshore accounts, and the dark money fed into countless special interest groups, pacts, lobbyists, ideologues, zealots, and those with an agenda that runs counter to popular beliefs. The sole purpose of these groups is to sway people to their side, but in their quest, they incite many to use ugly words, troll, argue, and turn family members and neighbors against one another. We are different.
A segment of society has been suckered into a quagmire of racism. What possesses some people to firmly believe their race is superior to other races? Why do they feel their race should be the one that dominates others? How did this group get this way? Were they raised in racist homes or did they develop this ideology later in life? Do they truly know/interact with members of other races? Are they so blinded by misguided thinking that they don’t see how inane this hatred is? We are different.
Regional and ethnic differences are almost interchangeable. We are exposed to regional and ethnic foods, styles of clothing, accents, customs, and cultures. We are fortunate to experience the diverse flavors of Italian, Greek, Asian, European, Cajun, Mexican, and American cuisine. We are different.
Examining morality can be and often is a sticky wicket. A line is drawn in the sand when discussing right and wrong acts. Most will agree that murder is morally wrong. However, there are many other behaviors which may not align with acceptable conduct according to the standards others believe in. We are different.
Addressing sexuality covers a myriad of beliefs and emotions, including how we think philosophically, politically, religiously, and morally. We are born male and female, but should that be the sole criteria in determining how someone loves and lives? Does a person being gay, lesbian or transgendered truly have an adverse effect on your life? Isn’t love just that…love? Why do we need to judge others based on our set of principles? We are different.
May you fill your heart and mind with acceptance, diversity, and especially love because with love everything else will fall into place.
Dennis L. Page